Displaced families share their stories after the Carolina Forest fire

Fire victims seek shelter, assistance
Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Keefer
Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Keefer

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) – Many families who once called the Windsor Green apartment complex in Carolina Forest home, now hold on to the only thing they have after Saturdays fire- one another.

Most of the people who sought assistance from the American Red Cross Monday at the Beach Church shelter off of George Bishop Parkway, said they lost everything.

Alicia Black's family is one of the ones displaced from the fire. Black is a single mother raising her two children and one god-child. She said the children told her the fire was reaching their home on Saturday around 5 p.m.,  "my daughter was like mama, the woods are on fire."

Black is now getting back on her feet with help from the American Red Cross and friends who have reached out.

Kelly and Jon Downey also lived in the complex with their four children and they said they have lost all their belongings. Kelly was emotionally overcome remembering back to Saturday, "I just want to see what's left. I lost my wedding ring, my children lost all their belongings."

The Downey's believe the state should step up to help them and the rest of the more-than-one-hundred people who no longer have a home.

"I consider this a natural disaster because you've got almost 160 families with no where to go," said Jon Downey. Kelly's employers are currently paying for their family to stay in a hotel.

Margaret Downs and her husband have also been displaced by the fire. The pair is staying with a friend for the time being. Downs and her husband spent Monday contacting their utility companies, and making trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles to replace important documents that were destroyed in the fire.

Downs said her own children are more upset than her about the loss of their possessions. "I'm 75 years old my husband is 81 years old, so material things you can lose, people you don't want to lose."

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.