HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — 25 families in Hoover are looking for another place to live this weekend after a devastating fire destroyed their apartment building.
“We opened the door and he said there’s a fire, there’s a fire, and I just grabbed the dog, put on my rain boots and I was out the door,” said Margaret Cooper, a tenant of The Abbey on Riverchase apartment complex.
Cooper said she waited hours alongside her neighbor as crews battled the flames Thursday evening.
“To watch them do their work, and you know, to do everything they could to protect the community, it was inspiring, and I really appreciate everything they did,” said Cooper.
Cooper’s apartment suffered smoke and water damage. She’s staying at a hotel for the next few days through her renter’s insurance.
“The lights are off, the water is off, and so yeah, it’s just a waiting game to see what happens next. We have to wait and see what the apartment says,” said Cooper.
To help support displaced tenants, the Red Cross has been working alongside the Hoover Fire Department and apartment managers.
“We are providing financial assistance to people, giving them that first leg to help them make the next step,” said with the Red Cross.
Rowland said they’ve continued to see an uptick in home fires.
“We have seen over 4,000 home fires and that’s not all of them, those are just the ones we have been able to respond to, and that’s a massive amount of fires and ever since COVID started we’ve seen an increase in those fires because more people are home,” said Rowland.
As tenants in Hoover pack up their belongings and wait to hear more information from apartment managers, many of them still manage to have an optimistic attitude.
“But overall, everyone is just grateful that nobody was hurt. I mean that’s the main thing that no one was hurt, because we know, often time, it doesn’t always turn out that way, so thank God.”
The Hoover Fire Department says the investigation is still ongoing.