Residents scramble to find place to stay after fire displaces them

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — More than a dozen people have to move out of their apartment after a fire. Investigators say it was probably caused by electrical issues. The building at the corner of West North Street and North college street has now been deemed unsafe for people to stay in until those issues are fixed.

“The whole building was filled with smoke,” said resident Jullian Delaney as he recalls Monday night’s fire. In what felt like a split second, Delaney says he went from making dinner in his new apartment to searching for a place to stay.

“I heard a knock on my door, and all I know is there was a fire going on, so I exited the building as fast as I possibly could, just trying to be as safe as possible, freaking out. I was trying to bring everything I could think of with me. I grabbed a whole case of water and was trying to figure out where this fire was to put it out myself.”

David Banks has been living here for three years. He wasn’t home when the fire started. “When I got here, it was people standing outside. We were like, ‘What’s going on?’ When I got to the front of the building, I saw fire and smoke.”

The American Red Cross gave the 16 people (14 adults and two children) living there money to cover living expenses for around four nights. Though the cost is covered, some say it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.

“I’m frustrated. I’m pretty sure everybody’s frustrated because like I said, we gotta move out our stuff,” said Banks.

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