Residents struggle to bounce back after apartment fire

The fire at Stratford Village left one dead and 100 displaced

A fire in Southwest Roanoke Tuesday left one dead and nearly 100 people displaced.

ROANOKE, Va.A fire in Southwest Roanoke Tuesday left one dead and nearly 100 people displaced.

The fire at the Stratford apartment complex forced Benny Blankenship, and nearly 100 others from their homes.

“I didn’t know what was going on, and now I just know that we’re here,” Blankenship said. “The Red Cross has put us up here for five days.”

Blankenship has been staying at the Best Western in Roanoke along with about 25 other residents.

The residents received around $500 from the Red Cross for a hotel, but for Blankenship and many others, that money runs out tomorrow.

“We got a letter from the landlord saying that it’s going to take two weeks for them to fix what needs to be done,” Blankenship said. “So, by the time I leave here tomorrow morning I have at least nine, ten days of nowhere to go or anything to get myself situated while they get things recuperated.”

Tammy Carr is also staying at the Best Western.

“Especially when people got to get clothes and food too,” Carr said.

While the residents received letters under their doors from the complex, Carr is upset that they have not been called and updated.

“We ain’t heard from nobody at the apartment complex,” Carr said. “It’s like they got us out of the building and we ain’t heard from nobody.”

Blankenship says he just wants a place to lay his head.

“I’m under advisement to myself that they’re doing the best that they can in this situation,” he said. “I just think that we need more help getting us situated, the people, before they focus on fixing the place.”

Carr says she and her mother will have nowhere to go tomorrow morning.

“We’re all going back out in the streets,” she said.

But the residents are working together to stay afloat.

“Don’t leave anybody behind,” Blankenship said. “A soldier doesn’t leave another man behind.”

About the Author:

Abbie is a multimedia journalist finishing up her senior year at Virginia Tech. You can watch her report on weekday evenings.