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 Our Labor Day started off with some extremely small pockets of rain for the coast this morning. Most areas should see a rain-free day, with a 30% coverage of showers in our forecast. Highs today will reach the lower 90's. More moisture leads to increased rain coverage for Tuesday. A 50% coverage of showers returns for Tuesday. Highs will ...


Washington Times

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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Apartment fire displaces 40 residents

BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet

A fire forced 40 people out of their apartment complex, and they're waiting for word on when they can return. Four apartments were damaged Tuesday night in a fire at the Ashley Park apartment complex off the Eastex Freeway in Beaumont. Residents say they just want to go home.

Karen Anderson was asleep when her neighbor knocked on her door.

"And she asked me to call the fire department and I didn't see the smoke at first," said Anderson. "Then I asked her why, and she said, 'my apartment's on fire.' And then, finally, I started hearing the glass popping so I just grabbed what I could and got out of there."

The Beaumont Fire Department says a lit cigarette in apartment 238 set the curtains on fire. Anderson says she lives next door.

"Right next door to her, I'm in 237, she's in 238," said Anderson.

Anderson says when she ran outside and saw the fire, she prayed.

"Lord just help us save us, I know that's petty stuff but that's my stuff! That's my stuff. I worked hard for that stuff!" said Anderson.

The fire department says because of damage to the building's electrical power supply, power for the entire building had to be turned off. As a result, the 40 residents living in that building were displaced Tuesday night. The Red Cross says, when an electrician deems it safe, and investigators approve, Entergy will turn the power back on.

Some residents were allowed into their apartments to retrieve items Wednesday. However, until the power is back on, residents like Martin Leonord and his brother aren't allowed in to stay.

"I don't know, I'm just ready to go to my bed and go to sleep," said Leonord.

The American Red Cross provided hotel accommodations for some residents.

"We alleviate human suffering and take care of peoples' needs," said Emergency Service Specialist for the Red Cross, Natalie Prosperie. "If it was my mother, if it was my brothers, my family, my fiance, anybody, I wouldn't want them out in the cold."

Prosperie says she's seen an increase in fires in the Southeast Texas area.

"From November until now, we have had so many fires compared to last year, and we had a lot last year," said Prosperie. She says a lot of those fires are caused by space heaters and electrical problems.

Anderson says she's thankful no one got hurt.

"Just be careful because it could happen in an instant," said Anderson. "It really can."



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