Apartment fires and floods leave residents out in the heat

July 12, 2013 

The pictures looked familiar because they were familiar. Several times in the course of a year, apartment or house fires will find entire families on the street, their most treasured possessions having gone up in flames.

So there they are, in a place where they’d never have thought they would have been. They’re homeless, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. And in many cases, the cruelty of what happened was compounded by the fact that they had to stand outside and watch everything be destroyed.

So now, some neighbors in Durham are the ones in the pictures.

At least 18 apartments were destroyed at the Royal Oaks complex Monday, which has left approximately 40 people without places to stay. By now, one hopes the Triangle Red Cross and the Salvation Army and churches and friends have come to their temporary rescue. People of all ages were affected, which means people of all ages can help: children with toys, adults with clothes and kitchen gear and help with laundry, and all with companionship.

And in southern Orange County, at least 90 apartments were condemned and others damaged from recent flooding. It appeared, after assessments by the county and a declaration of emergency, that most would be repaired and that those displaced can be helped.

Such misfortune can happen not just to people in apartments, though they’re living in a more concentrated population, but to those in houses and mansions. And no matter what they financial circumstances of victims, the feelings of loss, and the lingering fears of what might have been, are much the same. These hard times offer those more lucky the chance to help neighbors, and to be thankful for their own good blessings.

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