More than 20 people now homeless after apartment fire in Wrens

Georgia News

WRENS, Ga. (WJBF) – More than 20 people are now homeless after a fire at an apartment complex in Wrens, Georgia.

“It’s messing with me, but it’s going to get better. That’s what I keep telling myself,” said Lateisha Smith.

Lateisha Smith and her two children lived behind the apartment where the fire started.

“This happened around 10:30 11 o’clock (Tuesday) yesterday morning got the girls at the table eating they pancakes, we were smelling the smell, but me being me, I had just turned the heater on, so I’m thinking it’s coming from the heater,” said Smith.

That’s when Wilson heard a knock at the door.

“It was my sister, “yall get out of here, yall get of here, so by that time. I done let the girls run out the house with their nightgowns on, they ran to my sister’s house,” she explained.

Smith says at that point the fire reached her kitchen.

“Thats how big the fire was it had already hit the kitchen. It was a good thing she came and knocked on the door, becuase by the time the fire department came it was already too late,” she said.

She says she lost everything in that fire. The only thing firefighters were able to salvage was a bag with Smith and her daughter’s birth certificates.

“I’m trying not to cry, when I brush my teeth this morning, I was just crying, because that’s the only thing I could think about, we would be at our own sink brushing our teeth, but we somewhere else, and we don’t know how long we’re going to be there,” said Smith.

23 people lost their homes. Tuesday morning. Investigators believe it started in the kitchen of one of the units.

“We spoke with the tenant in the apartment where the fire started and I believe her children who were 16 and 14 were home alone,” said Assistant Chief of Police in Wrens, PJ Hambrick.

Assistant Chief of Police in Wrens PJ Hambrick says both kids were cooking at the home and begin hearing popping noises.

“They walked out from the bedroom towards the kitchen area and the stove was on fire, and it just spread from there,” said Hambrick.

All eight units in that building were damaged. The Red Cross is providing housing right now. But, like Smith, some tenants are wondering what’s next for them.

“That’s my thing now, trying to find us somewhere to stay, but that motel, I’m there till next Tuesday, next Tuesday, so that’s eventually going to wear out” said Smith.

You can help those families by donating to the Red Cross. The Wadley Police Department will also be holding drive-through donations at the station Monday through Friday from 8 A.M to 5 P.M.

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