By Rebecca Rose
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - The Heart of Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping residents displaced by Sunday's fire.
Twelve people, including two infants, are receiving emergency aid following a devastating fire that swept through their homes on Bluebird Lane.
The fire, which started at about 2:45 a.m., quickly engulfed the small four-plex. The Harker Heights and Killeen fire departments were able to get the fire under control in less than 20 minutes. None of the occupants required medical attention at the scene.
Jack Collier, Harker Heights fire chief, said the apartment where the fire originated was "heavily damaged." The other units sustained mild to heavy smoke damage.
Collier said the blaze appears to have started on the stove top. Foul play is not suspected.
The Red Cross was on hand almost immediately to help coordinate shelter for displaced residents. Four families were relocated to area hotels Sunday night. The agency is also providing food and clothing as needed.
Bob Roberts, branch manager of the local Red Cross chapter, said the agency will continue to provide assistance until the families can safely return to their homes.
The families who live in the units that only sustained smoke damage likely can return home sometime this week.
"We will help accommodate them until their landlord gets them back into the unit," Roberts said.
Roberts said the family who lived in the unit where the blaze originated lost almost everything in the fire.
The Red Cross typically covers assistance for basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter for the first three days following a disaster such as a fire or a flood. In addition, it works with other organizations and businesses, including the Salvation Army, to provide long-term assistance.
To make a donation to the Red Cross or to learn more about disaster preparedness, go to www.waco.redcross.org/.