Community Coming Together To Help Dozens Displaced By Fire

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-17 19:01:54-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (June 17, 2014)– A fire tore through a senior living complex in Battle Creek Monday, leaving dozens displaced.  Now, officials are calling on help from the community as they work to rebuild.

It happened just before 9 p.m. at the Lakeview Meadows independent living apartment complex on Territorial Road.

With the assistance and cooperation from several agencies, officials Monday night were able to evacuate some 100 residents, and get everybody out with no injuries. Officials say about 50 units were damaged, leaving around that same amount displaced.

Ted Hearings, a member at Lakeview Baptist Church near the complex, said he opened their doors Monday night to help residents.

“They were all scared, they were just frightened over what was going on. We tried to calm them down giving them the medicine they need and oxygen. Just tried to help with basic needs.”

Karla Fales with the Area Agency on Aging says their concern right now is not only short term needs but long term ones like housing. City and county organizations worked into the night and all day Tuesday to help residences find temporary homes and get them the medicine needed but there is still a lot of work ahead.

It’s expected that the residents won’t be able to return home anytime soon. Among those residents are Bobbi Hallax’s 80-year-old parents.

She says they just moved into their apartment last weekend, and for the time being she says they are staying with her and she is just happy they are alive.

“We just ask for prayers and peace and calmness for everybody. Stuff can be replaced, not them,” she said.

If you would like to help there will be a donation drive at the Lakeview Baptist Church in Battle Creek located at 7 20th St S.
They are looking for everything from clothing, bedding, household needs, furniture and even pet supplies.  You can drop items off from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fales says cash donations can also be made to the Area Agency on Aging and residents still looking for help can contact them at 269-966-2450.

The fire inspector says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.