Displaced residents housed at center after fire | KOB 4

Displaced residents housed at center after fire

Brittany Costello
March 19, 2018 07:40 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A fire sent a southeast Albuquerque apartment building up in flames Sunday night, displacing families to an emergency shelter at the Manzano Mesa Community Center.


The city opened the multigenerational shelter after that fire. On Monday, there were dozens of families, small children, even pets stuck inside here. Many lost everything.

It all happened so fast, residents said.

"There was a lot of smoke and it was just running at our apartments," said one resident, Mary Aragon.

First, the thick black smoke blanketed belongings. Then flames ensued.

"I went into the kitchen," resident Daniel Crespin recalled. "I opened the back door to our backyard and when I opened my back door, everything was engulfed in flames."

But that's not the scariest part for the residents living in the apartment building along Georgia near Zuni. They watched the building burn, their minds went to what would happen next. The city and Red Cross opened the emergency shelter at the community center. They're housing dozens of families and providing meals.

But residents say that can't last forever.

"My main concern is 'where are we going to put our head?' you know, for the next two weeks," Vera Sanchez said.

While Sanchez figures out her next move, Crespin feels like he's out of options. The majority of the destruction hit his unit.

"There's nothing else we can do," he said. "We have no clothes for the children. We have no food. We have nothing."

While they ask for any assistance available, they wonder why no fire alarms sounded and why no residents were prepared with fire extinguishers. The property manager said they are still trying to figure out how to handle the situation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Brittany Costello

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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