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Red Cross: 9 Families Homeless After Massive Apartment Fire

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POSTED: Friday, January 7, 2011 - 1:38pm

UPDATED: Friday, January 7, 2011 - 7:39pm

EL PASO - What the fire's flames didn't destroy inside the apartments, was ruined by smoke or water. The walls in many of the units are blackened and in others, there's up to an inch of water left on the floor.

"It was like horrible,” fire victim April Salas said, “There was smoke everywhere. It was burning really bad!"

Salas was one of dozens of residents evacuated from the Alcantar Apartments because of a massive early morning fire on Friday. She woke up as the flames started to spread to her apartment.

"We were all asleep and we smelled smoke. Then, when I got out of my room, our whole apartment was full of smoke," she said.

Salas' neighbor, Luz Rivas, also woke up to find her apartment full of smoke. Her two young daughters were asleep in their bedroom.

"I just grabbed my girls and went outside," said Rivas.

Sun Metro had three buses waiting outside to keep evacuees warm in the freezing cold. The Red Cross says the fire displaced a total of 12 families.

"We do have some families that will be placed in other apartments by the manager but we have 9 families that will not have a place to call home tonight," said Freddy Martinez with the El Paso Red Cross. The organization will help the displaced families find a place to stay.

And while she may not have a home, Rivas is just thankful she still has her family.

"I'm just happy that my girls are okay and I'm okay. That's all that matters.”

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