Support runs out for those left homeless by Agnes Street fire
Published Monday, December 30, 2019 8:46PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Immediate assistance from the Red Cross has run out for dozens of people displaced by a fire in the city's West End the day after Christmas.
The apartment block on Agnes Street is now a pile of rubble and a painful reminder of a night that left 25 people homeless.
After flames ripped through the apartment building on Dec. 26, residents were housed in two downtown hotels - the Marlborough and the Holiday Inn - for three days, but time has run out.
On Monday, some were told they had to check out of their hotel rooms, while others were given one more night.
"I want to go home, but I don't have a home to go to," Sharon Beardy, one of the residents, told CTV News. “We were all like family. We helped each other and now we're going to be separated because some of them are checking out today."
Beardy, her daughter Chelsey and her two-year- old granddaughter escaped the flames in the middle of the night.
Source: Michael Arsenault/CTV News
"I'm pretty sure my daughter misses the house,” Chelsey said. “She just cries and cries.”
Beardy said her family was told they can spend one more night in their hotel room.
For some of the dozens displaced by the fire, their hotel stays are now being covered by private donations.
Bob Axworthy runs a bakery and said two of his employees lost their homes in the fire. So he started raising money on Facebook to help.
“We don't want these people to have to be worried about where they can sleep,” Axworthy said. “I've just covered more rooms and told the Marlborough it's okay.”
But while some have a roof over their heads for now, the future remains uncertain.
“I lost everything,” said Martin Lehman, another resident displaced by the fire. “It's hard.”
The Red Cross is still referring people to other programs that can offer assistance. As well, two Manitoba politicians started collecting donations over the weekend to help the families.
Those displaced by the fire said they're grateful for the help and are thankful everyone survived.