Dozens of Treme residents are without a place to go on Tuesday night after losing everything in a hotel fire.
Many who stay at the Tirc Hotel on St. Ann Street say it was their home and now it’s unlivable. The fire started quickly and the people staying there barely had the chance to get out. One man said his only option was jumping from a second floor window.
Dylan Whalen was awoken around midnight to the sound of fire alarms going off. He quickly realized it wasn't a drill.
"I open the front door and black smoke hit me,” Whalen said. “You couldn't see nothing from the hall. All I know is from there I turned around and went to the window because there's no way to get out in the hall."
Whalen knew the fire was close.
"You could feel the heat, you could feel it through the walls and everything,” Whalen said. “Smoke was coming in under the door it was definitely dramatic. The fire started two doors down."
He had no choice but to get out through the second story window.
"I jumped on the ledge and once I see the fire I just jumped down I didn't even think about it,” Whalen said.
Whalen managed to walk away with only a hurt knee but firefighters say another person appeared to fracture both ankles escaping the same way. Kenneth McNeil was staying on the first floor. When the alarms began going off he knew immediately it was a bad situation.
"I know it was serious I saw smoke and smelled smoke and I said ‘time to get out of here.’”
When he stepped out into the hallway he saw chaos.
“Everyone was screaming ‘get out, get out’, McNeil said.
Residents say they're thankful everyone survived but now they're left with nothing. A place they called a home is now destroyed and they're unsure what comes next.
"Where are we going to go?” McNeil asked. “Right now we homeless."
NOFD is still investigating what caused the fire.
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