Lamont apartment fire leaves 7 families without a home

Community steps up to help

LAMONT, Calif. - Families flood what they once called home, looking for anything that could be saved after a fire burned through eight units at the Vintage Apartment Complex off San Diego Street in Lamont around 7 p.m. Thursday. 

Gustavo Garcia, of the apartment management team, said they are doing everything they can to help the 27 people now without a home.

"We are working along with other properties we have in Bakersfield, trying to house them out there and see if we can relocate some people or work a lot with other companies that we can partner up with and try to get them housing as of right now," Garcia said.

American Red Cross volunteers worked along side management Friday as residents dug through ashes trying to find anything -- especially Christmas presents like "Turtie" the turtle -- to save.

"Help is always available," Megin Hughes with the Red Cross said. 'We are here to meet immediate disaster cause needs and we have a great community and great partners that step up really to help people in the long term."

One group stepping up to help: the students and staff at Nueva High School.

Once Viviana Ramirez learned some of her students lost close to everything, she sent out a call to help.

"This is what we do here," Ramirez said. "Nueva is a family-oriented school. We are very close knit, we take care of each other. A lot of the stuff we have here my be able to be used by our family, some of it may not be, but we know that there were other families who were also displaced and we would like to help them also."

Ramirez says they are taking any kind of donation -- from clothes to bedding to toiletries.

You can donate by emailing Ramirez here.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but apartment management credits working smoke detectors in every apartment for helping get everyone out of their apartments quickly and safely.

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