Nearly 50 seniors displaced after fire, how you can help
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Water streamed down the building of Feels Like Home, an independent senior community in Hickory Hill. It wasn’t from Friday’s rain but from a massive Memphis Fire Department presence, after a fire Thursday night left the building at a total loss.
The fire claimed the life of one of the residents living there, a 72-year-old man, according to the Memphis Fire Department.
Two others were taken to the hospital in critical condition but were upgraded to stable on Friday morning.
45 other residents spent that night in a Memphis hotel and will do so again Friday night, many having lost everything.
For Paula Belizaire, she found out about the fire this morning, not knowing if her godfather, who she said to be 81-year-old Albert Hardy, was the resident who lost his life.
“It was a relief,” Belizaire said, talking about when she saw him Friday. “When I saw his face, I just screamed out his name in the middle of the lobby because... just to see that he was OK.”
MFD says the call came in around 8:00 p.m. Thursday night.
As of Friday evening, no cause of the fire has been determined, but we’re told it originated in a lower-level unit and spread quickly throughout the complex.
Belizaire said her godfather woke up to smoke.
“He said he went out in the hallway. He opened up the door, and he heard a loud boom,” Belizaire described. “He said it was very, very dark. He couldn’t see anything, and he said the firemen grabbed onto him and got him out of there.”
“A lot of residents here needed assistance getting out safely, and our crews did an amazing job by throwing ladders to the second floor and actually doing rescues,” said MFD PIO Qwanesha Ward, on the night of the fire.
“I thank God the fire department saved so many lives,” said Belizaire
“Feels Like Home is a wonderful place,” Belizaire said. Telling us she visited twice a week.
She hopes the future plan is to rebuild.
“I pray that Feels Like Home can continue,” said Belizaire. “This is what our seniors need.”
While we’re told by a Feels Like Home spokesperson that the next steps regarding the building are being discussed at this time, there are immediate needs residents have that you can help with.
Saturday, there will be a drop-off donation site set up at the Embassy Suites at 1022 S. Shady Grove Road, Memphis, TN 38120.
The site, we’re told is accepting new and “gently loved” clothing and shoes for men and women, as well as coats, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, underwear, disposable underwear, pajamas, nightgowns, robes and house shoes.
For toiletries, the site is accepting toothbrushes, hair combs and hairbrushes.
Women’s clothing sizes range from medium to XXL and shoes from 7 to 9.5.
Men’s sizes range from medium to 3XL and shoes from 7 to 13.
There are also options for online or in-person monetary donations.
There are also donations you can make on your phone or computer via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8QisaMfl1), CashApp (https://cash.app/$FLHSenior), and Venmo (https://account.venmo.com/u/FeelsLikeHome-SeniorLifestyleR).
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