Early Sunday morning, a massive fire tore through the North High Ridge Apartments in Virginia-Highland, displacing 28 residents. As the wind fanned the flames and embers flew across, Atlanta Fire Department worked to contain the blaze while neighbors watched helplessly. With nothing left of their homes, these people are now relying on their community for support–and they’re getting it.
Chad Palmer was one of those affected by the tragedy. “You don’t really know what to do when you lose everything,” he said after rushing back to his apartment once he heard about the fire alarms going off. He soon realized that there was no hope for containing this inferno as it spread quickly due to winds and embers flying into nearby buildings.
Fortunately, all 28 residents were able to make it out safely from North High Ridge Apartments before it suffered a partial collapse at its back end. But now they have nothing—which is why neighbors like Lindsay Berhane have come together to help them get back on their feet with donations of clothing items, toiletries, blankets, and other essentials.
“My heart was breaking for everybody who had to witness that,” she said of watching her community burn down right before her eyes. “And then the aftermath afterward of processing everything that you’ve lost.” She added that many people on her street began throwing clothes over fences in order to get the word out about what they needed most during this difficult time—and Chad appreciates every bit: “It’s just amazing that I have a job that was willing to do the same for us.”
At this time, investigators are still looking into what caused such an intense fire at North High Ridge Apartments but until then neighbors continue doing what they can for those who lost their homes–even setting up a GoFundMe account in their honor. It might take some time before those affected can truly recover from such devastation but with everyone doing their part during this tragic event, things will hopefully start getting better soon enough!