Apartment Fire Leaves Dozens Searching for New Homes
Two Victims Remain Hospitalized
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For the residents of the Applewood Knoll Apartments, Easter Sunday turned into a disaster.
Many are now searching for anything they can salvage, from something as simple as a movie, to the more important things, like a new place to live.
Jodi Lavoie was celebrating Easter with family, when she heard the news that her home had gone up in flames.
“I thought that the person who called me was kidding, and they weren’t,” Lavoie said.
After rushing home to see for herself, her worst fears had been confirmed.
“That weird out of body experience feeling like, ‘This can’t be happening, because this happens to other people but it doesn’t happen to me, right?’” Lavoie explained.
In the day following the disaster, which left 41 without a home, the Red Cross is hard at work finding housing for those who lost it.
“We hope people can reach out, have places to rent, help these folks,” said Tony Guerra, the Disaster Program Manager for the Duluth Red Cross.
But for the kids who called the building home, it’s a hard concept to grasp.
“Parents are so geared on getting back, replacing what they’ve lost,” said Guerra. “They don’t think about what the kids have lost, they don’t have the time to think about what the kids have lost.”
Including Lavoie’s 3–year–old son.
“This morning he woke up and said ‘Mommy, we don’t have a home anymore,’” said Lavoie.
Who’s favorite toys were salvaged among the rubble.
“That’s the one thing he actually mentioned, was his transformers, so it’s really neat that I came back here and found these 2 things,” explained Lavoie, holding her son’s Transformers.
But more importantly, they have their lives.
“Well, you know, the key thing is, everybody’s alive. And everything is replaceable after that,” Guerra said.
But for Lavoie, some family memories are now nothing but ashes.
“I want my baby book, I can’t get that back,” Lavoie said. “I wrote down the dates of every time he did something for the first time, and those, I can’t, I can’t redo that, it’s not possible.”
While the Red Cross is not accepting tangible donations, they say the best thing to do if you would like to help, is to make a monetary donation that will go toward the victims in their time of need.
Community members have also created a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the victims.