Fall River working to find temporary homes for fire victims

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Residents of a Fall River apartment building may be in temporary homes for the holidays after a large fire Tuesday night.

Flames tore through the three-story building at the corner of Morgan and 5th Streets, forcing 25 people from their homes.

Fortunately, all of the residents managed to get out safely, but some lost pets and newly purchased Christmas presents.

The American Red Cross is helping the families with basic living needs.

“They’re amazing,” said tenant Chris Yablonsky. “They gave us enough money and everything last night so I could get my kid diapers, clothes. My youngest son has Down syndrome, his formula is almost $50 a can, and they helped us out with being able to get that.”

A representative from Fall River said the city is working with Catholic Social Services and the local housing authority to get the tenants into temporary homes as soon as possible.

Officials said the fire started in the rear of the first floor and spread up to the second and third floors. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Yablonsky said the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage are far less a concern than what he and his family will do now.

“We’re not 100 percent sure, but the fire department that I was talking to, he said the smoke damage alone was going to be enough that we’re not going to be able to go back inside that apartment,” he said. “Nobody could give us an exact answer yet.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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