Homeowners speak out on dangers of blight after Central City blaze

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 27 at 6:37 AM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS - The day after a massive fire in Central City, homeowners are speaking out about the dangers of blight.

It's been a tough weekend for Tiea Silby and her family.

“It's gone. Everything is gone,” she said.

Two of Silby's cousins lived inside one of 10 Central City homes damaged in a six-alarm fire Saturday.

They were in the process of renovating, but lost everything in the blaze, which destroyed nearly an entire city block.

“When I saw it? My first thought was, ‘Lord, this world is coming to an end,'” said Silby.

Now, Silby's cousins are staying in a hotel paid for by the Red Cross. The Red Cross offers a three-day hotel stay and food and clothing to fire victims, and helps match them with agencies that may be able to help when the three days is up.

“It's going to take a miracle. It's going to take a lot of help,” Silby said when asked what it will take to rebuild. The family had no insurance on the house.

The Red Cross said a total of seven families were displaced in the fire, up from original reports the day it broke out.

Across the metro area, 12 families have lost their homes to fire between November 22nd and November 24th.

“The single fire in a family home is our most common disaster,” said Melissa Eugene, a Red Cross spokeswoman. “We go to about two a day in this area. Last year we responded to more than 800 in Southeast Louisiana.”

Fire officials normally see an uptick as the temperature drops.

“Holiday is always the worst season for fire,” said New Orleans Fire Chief Charles Parent. “Sometimes we have so many vacant buildings that vagrants try to seek the buildings, try to make heat in those buildings and maybe start a fire.”

Another fire Friday incinerated two abandoned buildings in the St. Claude area. And fire officials believe Saturday's Central City blaze began in an abandoned building as well.

“Clean up the streets, clean up this city, clean it up. Because the houses that’s here now, look how it look,” said Silby.

Fire officials are still investigating what caused the recent fires.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is able to help families through private donations. If you would like to help, click here.

Print
Email
|