An early-morning fire on Thursday, April 22, has left several people homeless. It started just before 5 AM at the corner of 36th and Bull Streets, just across from the Bull Street Library.
Savannah firefighters arrived to find heavy flames and smoke coming from the roof and sides of the house. It took almost an hour to get the blaze under control.
The fire started in the back of the house, and before any of the residents knew what was going on, flames were ripping through the top of the roof. "The whole back porch was just up in flames and the ceiling was in flames before we knew it, but the fire department was there really quick," said victim Katherine Faust.
As firefighters worked to douse the flames, more than five different apartments inside had to be evacuated. Luckily, all the people who were home at the time were able to get out alive. Most were asleep and were woke up. "My neighbor just woke me up and there were flames coming up from the back porch and we just had to get out of the building," recalled Faust.
By the time the Red Cross arrived, everyone was out on the street with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Most of them were college students.
"We were initially told that there should be 20 or more people expected to be displaced and prepare for that, so we went out there full steam ahead," said Catalina Garcia-Quick of the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross. "[We] arrived to find people outside in their pajamas and gave the residents blankets and coffee."
With fewer people displaced then expected, the half dozen residents will now be with out a place to call home. "Everyone is okay, no one was hurt and some people don't even know their homes have been burned yet, they were at work or out of town," said Garcia-Quick.
Most of the people who lived in the house were students at Savannah State and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Both colleges told the Red Cross they'd help these students out anyway they could.