Twenty Statesboro families have been displaced due to the Little Lott’s Creek Apartment fire Monday morning. The complex is located at 14 East Jones Street, adjacent to the Willie McTell Trail.
The Little Lott’s Creek Apartment Fire fire was reported around 9AM Monday morning and the third floor was heavily involved when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. Firefighters used over 10,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire which has resulted in heavy water and smoke damage to the structure.
This also caused the City of Statesboro Public Works Department to issue a city-wide water advisory.
According to Katherine Parks, Site Manager for Little Lott’s Creek Apartments they have closed the entire building until the building can be inspected and cleared by the city building inspectors. However, they can’t begin that process until the State Fire Marshal’s office has completed the investigation.
At least two third floor apartments are a total loss and several more have received extensive damage.
American Red Cross Disaster Team Responds
The American Red Cross activated a Disaster Action Team (DAT) out of Augusta responded to the complex. The team lead by Vivian Abernathy also included Mike Mahoney and Brantley Poss out of Augusta and Larry Jones from Bulloch County.
The DAT team met with each family individually and provided all 20 families with immediate emergency financial assistance to help cover a hotel, food and incidental expenses for two days.
Each family has also been assigned a red cross caseworker who will continue to help evaluate each families individual needs.
Bulloch County VOAD activated partner agencies which included the Statesboro Food Bank, Fostering Bulloch Hope Chest and local hotelier Andy Buhla to provide assistance. Pittman Park Church responded also and has provided emergency assistance to several families.
The total need can not be determined until each family gains access into their apartments. Hopefully that will occur on Tuesday or Wednesday.
At that point agencies will have a better understanding of how great the needs are. Once we have this, Grice Connect will communicate the specific needs and how community members and organizations can assist.
It would be wonderful if churches or organizations could each “adopt” a family and help them with their specific needs. Please be considering ways your church or organization can help once needs are established.
In a single family disaster, local volunteers can address specific needs and direct donations to specific agencies to handle these needs. With this large of a number, that becomes difficult to manage.
Overwhelmed by Communities Response
Site Manager Katherine Parks saw the smoke on her way into work this morning and went into action trying to help in every way possible.
“First we wanted to establish that everyone one was out of the apartments and safe. Once we determined that and knew the fire was under control we started focusing on reaching out to the community for assistance,” said Parks. “My first call was to the Red Cross and they had a team here within the hour. They have been here all day and their help has been invaluable. Then Pittman Park Church responded and they have been wonderful.”
Parks said she has received lots of calls and offers of assistance. At this point, everyone is taken care of for the night. Tomorrow is a new day. Once they can get in and start the evaluation of each apartment, they want know the totality of the need.
Parks praised the quick response of the fire departments, EMS and Police Department. “All of the agencies have been very concerned and helpful,” said Parks. “This has been a very overwhelming day for all of us. We can’t thank all of you enough for what you have done already and will do to help all of these great residents get back on their feet again.”