Police Department helps St. Martinville families who lost everything in apartment fire

St. Martin Parish

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — Police protect and serve, but in St. Martinville today they are also restoring what three families lost in an apartment fire earlier this month. News Ten’s Neale Zeringue has the story.

When the St. Martinville Police Department asked their community to help three families who lost everything in an apartment fire, boy, did they deliver. Today, they announced donations far exceeded their expectations and they are not able to take any more.

Tammy Lewis, one of the victims of the fire, was moved to tears when she saw how much had been donated.

“When I seen the room, I couldn’t believe it,” Lewis said. “I came to tears really. I cried.”

You’ll usually find handcuffs, badges, and uniforms in the St. Martinville Police Department, but for the past couple of weeks, it’s been the one-stop shop for everything you need from bedding to appliances, furniture to pots and pans, and a lot of clothes.

“The room where we have everything stored now is our conference room,” said Police Chief Ricky Martin. “When we started, collecting stuff, we were planning it all into a trailer and delivering stuff, but we started getting everything so quick.”

These supplies have not been collected for the masses but rather donated by them, and all this is for eight people in three families. An October 8th fire at Cypress Garden Apartments took everything they owned.

“The days are sad for me sometimes, but when I think about that room, it gives me a better day,” Lewis said.

Tammy Lewis says she and her neighbors have been able to get the clothes and some furniture they need, but can’t transport the larger pieces on her own. Donations came from within and far beyond St. Martinville according to Chief Martin, and he welcomes any people in desperate need of clothing to reach out.

“Seeing the generosity of not only our community, but all of Acadiana, it shows that there’s still a lot of good people out there,” Chief Martin said.

“I cried because I really couldn’t believe it that people did come out for us and all. I thank the chief for everything him and his police department did for us because without the chief and the police department, I don’t know where we would have been,” Lewis said.

In their next step of giving, the St. Martinville Police Department is looking to partner with some nonprofits to see who else may need these supplies now that the families have what they want.

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