HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Sunday's apartment fire at the Sunlake at Edgewater apartment complex has led to an outpouring of support this holiday season.
The fire left 16 apartment units unlivable. Fire officials ruled the cause of the fire "indeterminable."
The wind caused the fire to spread quickly, ripping through multiple units. Thankfully, no one was hurt and every animal was rescued too. Sunlake at Edgewater apartments is doing more than a rescue mission to give affected families some peace and comfort.
Christmas won't be the same this year for 18 families at the Sunlake at Edgewater apartment complex.
"A lot of their worries were Christmas presents because they lost a lot of their Christmas presents in the fire," said Sunlake assistant property manager Rickie Gomez.
The families may not have gifts under their own tree, but Sunlake sure does. "Our residents have been so neighborly to one another," said Gomez.
Displaced residents already took what they wanted from a room filled with clothes, shoes and other small items. "Now we're asking for people to maybe give gift cards," said Gomez.
Firefighters don't know the cause of the fire, but neighbors are doing all they can to make sure the families have clothes on their backs and blankets to keep them warm.
Gomez said, "it's hard to see people lose everything they have." What's left after the fire is now condemned. The displaced families have to find a new home. On Monday, their leasing agreements were officially null and void.
"Everyone who paid December's rent," said the assistant property manager, "we refunded their rent back. They'll get their checks today and also their security deposits. So that way, they'll at least have the money they've given to us back to go put a new deposit down on a new apartment."
Sunlake would take them in, but there are no open spots. Most of the families are living in hotels and extended stays. It's not easy to take your mind off a situation like this, especially with Christmas coming up.
Just today, Dave and Buster's promised to give all 18 families a gift card to have some fun during this dark time. Other businesses have been helping as well.