Community steps up to help 8 families displaced by fire

by: Diana Davis Updated:

After eight low-income families were burned out of their apartments Saturday, Channel 2 Action News viewers stepped up to help one victim who is expecting a baby any minute.

ATLANTA - After eight low-income families were burned out of their apartments Saturday, Channel 2 Action News viewers stepped up to help one victim who is expecting a baby any minute.

18-year-old Tremesia Coleman is one of the residents displaced by the apartment fire. She, along with the other residents of the Washington Street Complex were almost asked to leave the hotel that the Red Cross had put them in since the fire.

Once Channel 2's Diana Davis heard the news, she explained the situation to the hotel manager.

Tremesia Coleman, who was living with her mother in one of the apartments, is expecting a baby any minute. She said the fire completely destroyed everything she had set aside for the baby.

When Channel 2 viewers saw the action news report on the fire and heard Coleman's story, they began donating bags of baby clothes, a crib and other supplies.

Coleman called them angels.

" ...I really hope God blesses all the people that blessed me because that was the nicest thing they could do," she said.

As the cold rain fell Tuesday, the other residents who were put up in a Holiday Inn on Capitol Avenue told Davis the Red Cross said they would have to be out of the hotel by Wednesday morning.

The family (what family?) says they have very little clothing and no permanent place to say. That includes Tremesia Coleman's mother and her other child. She told Davis she had been given the run around.

"It's like we've been passed around from agency to agency and nobody has come with anything positive," Theresa McKissack said.

When Davis explained the situation to the general manager of the Holiday Inn, he opened his heart and quickly stepped up to help.

David Rosenberg told his residents, "We would like you to remain with us through the weekend, certainly through the holidays and make sure you have a good Thanksgiving. You are a part of our community and we care."

"That gives us a little more leeway and buys some time to see if we can come up with more resources," Michelle Hambrick said.

Back at the apartment, mother-to-be Coleman is trying to make her own plans.

"This is just kind of pushing me back, and rushing me to grow up and get out there on my own. I'm going to really try to look into getting my own place, and learn a little bit about living on my own and how to find stuff out," she told Davis.

The other families are grateful they're not on their own, especially for Thanksgiving.

Thanks to the Holiday Inn, they have five more days to work out a long-term solution. The United Way told Davis they will work with the city of Atlanta to try to find the displaced residents another place to go.


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