Del Wood Fire
To help the victims of the apartment fire, get in touch with The American Red Cross
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va.--- An apartment complex fire left one woman dead and at least six people with out a home on Sunday.
Rockingham County Fire Chief Jeremy Holloway said the woman believed to be dead is 68-year-old Marcella Tams. Holloway said he was waiting for complete confirmation from the medical examiner, but WHSV spoke with her brother, Ronnie Barber, on Monday morning. He confirmed his sister died in the fire.
Some of the neighbors who were displaced by the fire have received assistance from the American Red Cross.
Jason Swisher, who used to live in one of the four apartments, said he cannot believe his apartment is gone.
"It was a great apartment, It was a gem, actually. I'm sad to see it go," said Jason Swisher.
Jason Swisher used to call this place home. As he picks up what is left of his apartment, he does not recognize it anymore.
"It looks like a horror movie, If you have ever been to a haunted house. It looks a like a nightmare in there," said Swisher.
He saw the nightmare unfold in front of his eyes when a fire started at the end of his apartment building and spread into the roof area of all four apartments.
"By the time we got out here and the fire trucks showed up, the fire in the roof basically all the way to the second apartment," said Swisher.
Swisher is now trying to get back on his feet. American Red Cross Disaster Services Manager Raymond Watson said he is helping Swisher and five others with food, clothing and accomodations.
The amount of money each family receives depends on the number of people in the family.
"They have children and they have lives and they have things that help make their world go round so when somebody loses something, it's just something in the heart that says I want to be there as quickly as I can to try to heal the hurt a little bit," said Watson.
Swisher said he is grateful for the help and even more grateful to have saved what is most important to him.
"[ I was] running through a checklist, what are the most important things in my life, starting by my fiancee, followed by my pets," said Swisher.
He is also grateful to had make it out alive because two doors down, his neighbor did not.
"What if this had happened while I was asleep in bed would I have been able to get out," said Swisher.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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