Residents try to rebound after major fire

Residents try to rebound after major fire »Play Video
PENDLETON, OR. - Crews are tearing apart what's left of two building that were destroyed at a Pendleton apartment complex.

"We knew that everything was gone before but now it is absolutely destroyed," said Dana Kopp.

Dana Kopp and Bo Lewis spoke with KEPR the day after the fire ripped through their home. They were called back to the complex by the fire department.

Bo's truck was stuck in the lot during fire with a full tank of gas when flames began tearing through the South Hills apartments on Saturday evening.

"The one good set of keys to it were in the apartment. That's what he's up there looking for. Hopefully this thing will start so I can get it out of their way," he said.

There's wasn't much else left.

All entry ways to both buildings have now been boarded shut. Residents might be allowed back in Tuesday afternoon at the very earliest to determine if there's anything worth saving.

Bo got back a belt buckle and a small jewelry box. "This stuff made it. They weren't kidding when they said these boxes were fire proof. I thought that was a joke," he said.

Early investigations say the fire started on the nearby hillside. Most people who lived at South Hills have been placed in long-term temporary housing. Except Bo and Dana. They are running out of options.

"Wednesday we have to find another place or we have to pay for it ourselves," Dana said.

Kim Peterman with the Red Cross Pendleton chapter said,"I believe that we have met all the needs as far as the immediate housing for hotels."

The Red Cross will continue to help thanks to the support from the community. Bo, Dana and any other residents in need won't be left out in the cold.

Dana said, "It's pretty crazy."

It will be for a long time.

The Red Cross is taking donations for this disaster and others in our region. We've also posted information on how to reach them to our website.

If you want to donate any clothes, furniture, or household items to those who lost everything please contact the First United Methodist Church at (541) 276-2616.

A Facebook page has been established to help people stay in communication following this fire. There's a link on KEPR's Facebook page.

While there was a large loss of property there was no loss of life in this fire.