ASHWAUBENON, Wis.(WFRV)- Some Residents of an apartment complex that caught fire, damaging 24 units, are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.
“What we did in this particular situation is we did open a temporary shelter for people to be able to find a warm place to shelter and sleep over night,” said Laura McGuire, Regional Communications Manager. McGuire says the first location for the shelter was at Ashwaubenon high school, but it has now been moved to the Red Cross location at 2131 Deckner Ave, in Green Bay. “Volunteers are working one-on-one with individuals on recovery efforts,” said McGuire.
The fire occurred at a complex on Carstensen Lane on December 31st. Residents describe the building as “supportive housing” for individuals who are receiving social security, disability, and veterans’ benefits.
Michael Walker is a resident who is receiving disability benefits, now searching for a place to live. ” My unit was damaged severely and I don’t know how it started,” said Walker. He says he was not home at the time, but was alerted by his case manager about the emergency. ” She informed me and I went to the building and I thought it was actually the building next door, but it wasn’t,” said Walker.
Recalling what it was like inside the building while the fire was happening, Joshua Shook says he was searching for the nearest exit. “When I opened my door, all I saw was black smoke. I’m at the very opposite end. Because I was in panic mode I was trying to get to the center,” said Shook.
Authorities allowed residents back into the building to get salvageable belongings. Ashwaubenon Public Safety Commander Murphy told Local 5’s Eric Richards the preliminary investigation has ruled out criminal activity. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
If you would like to help out, the Red Cross is asking for financial donations, blood donations, and volunteers to help staff the shelter location. For more information call (800) 733-2767 or visit redcross.org