Families left devastated by St. Martinville apartment fire say they are not getting any help

St. Martin Parish

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. — Families homeless after an apartment fire in St. Martinville say their assistance has stopped but there is still a great need for relief.

The only help the now homeless families have received so far is $500 dollars from the Red Cross.

They are being told nothing else can be given until a cause for the fire is determined.

Tammy Lewis, Tomika Porter, Deshondra Everidge, and their families are the only ones who lived in the units devastated by Friday’s fire.

Each one only saved the clothes on their back.

“It’s sad,” Porter stated. “We have nothing,” Everage lamented.

“We asking for clothing, furniture. We begging people to help us with whatever they can help us with,” Lewis added. “Have a heart with what’s going on.”

The women and their five family members are currently living with family or friends, but say there are vacant units in the complex. News 10 called the property manager, Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) Management for an explanation.

Communication Director for GCHP, Ashley Lusk said, “The properties are being renovated in phases, and so we had some that we completed, and so, the residents that were impacted by the fire will be able to move into those units by Friday.”

But once the families have homes, they will have nothing to fill them with. Each received $500 from the Red Cross for food clothes. It’s not enough for Everage to send her 4-year-old to school and her one-year-old to daycare as she works to restart. They were told nothing else can be done until the cause of the fire is determined.

It’s not like we started the fire. We have nothing,” Everage said. “My children left out of our apartment with a shirt on and some Pampers. A lady that lived here had to go in her house, who owns a boutique, to put clothes on my children. It doesn’t make sense to me that we have to go through this for assistance.”

News 10 called the St. Martin Parish Fire District for any update on the cause of the fire, Tuesday, and was told it is still under investigation. We asked about other fires at Cypress Gardens in recent years, and they were described as accidental. None were intentional.

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