Local woman in need of help after losing everything in fire

Local News

WACO, Texas – An apartment fire that happened at Richland Springs Apartments in Waco destroyed all the personal belongings to Patricia Melendez and her children.

“I’m staying in a room right now, in a hotel room with me and my six kids, and its crazy. I mean, I’m struggling to make it by everyday with them,” says Melendez.

Melendez and her family moved to a hotel when the power went out February 15th. This is when a fire broke out at the Richland Springs Apartments. Melendez says she learned about the fire from a neighbor.

“I got a phone call that the apartment was on fire, so I came and everyone was out here. Didn’t realize it was that bad until I actually got inside and took a look in it. Everything’s bad – couches, the roof’s gone in, no ceiling, the flooring, kids bouncers, beds, everything, clothes, shoes,” says Melendez.

Because of the statewide winter crisis, Melendez is looking into assistance programs.

“I applied for FEMA and Red Cross. Red Cross is the one who’s helping me at the moment. Get a room for some days, for about a week and a half up to two weeks. So when’s that’s up, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Melendez.

FOX44 reached out to the property owners about what are they doing for the residents who were impacted by the freezing weather and fire. In the statement released to us, Richland Springs Apartments management said:

“This winter storm left unprecedented damage across Waco and the state. Unfortunately, we were not immune as a fire broke out shortly after power was restored on Friday that left eight of our units heavily damaged and uninhabitable. 

We know this is a trying time for our residents displaced by this fire. Our management staff is helping them in any way possible by quickly refunding remaining February rent and deposits, providing temporary overnight accommodations and helping them obtain clothes and other items through our local apartment association. Finally, we are assisting residents with documentation of the fire so they can file insurance claims as quickly as possible for their personal property. 

We continue to fully cooperate with the Waco Fire Department on their investigation as to the cause of the fire. We would like to thank the fire department for their rapid response and containment of this fire to these eight units.”

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