, Port Arthur, Texas

December 30, 2013

Locals helping 10 families displaced by apartment fire

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — A large red Christmas bow hangs from a soot covered door at Ashland Park Apartments, visible signs of the recent holiday and of a fire that displaced 10 families.

Two local businesses are collecting items and taking donations to assist the families which includes both elderly families and young families with infants and young children.

The cause of Friday night’s fire at the apartment complex, located on West Jefferson behind Market Basket, remains under investigation, Groves Fire Fighter Pete Konidis said.

Ashland Park Apartments is owned by Jeff Akhtar of Amron Housing Groups and Angel Keath, property manager, said they are collecting donations to assist the affected families.

“We are collecting anything and everything. These tenants lost everything,” Keath said. We do have some items people are starting to donate. People are coming from everywhere. We’ve had phone call after phone call.”

The tenants have been moved to The Palms Apartments in Port Neches which is owned by the same company while some have chosen to move into one of the vacant apartments at the Ashland Park complex.

“We have set them up with furnished apartments,” she said. “They are comfortable but will still need things, practical things you really don’t think about such as shampoo and razors.”

So far some of the donations include beds, dishes and kitchen items which are all needed.

Cribs and strollers are also needed as well as other baby necessities since the children affected include three male infants and a 4-year-old boy.

“One couple come and brought bassinets and a bouncy chair,” she said. “We’ve had people come from Silsbee, Beaumont, Lumberton and Vidor.”

The fire and loss of property has affected the employees of the company.

“This is one of those things you see on TV but when you actually help them out and see them go through this, it’s completely different,” she said.

Graffiteez Ink in Groves is also helping collect items for the displaced families.

Jessica Teller, an employee, said the business is taking donations through Thursday.

“Then we will go through the items and organize them, clothes and toys, then contact the apartment complex and have the tenants come in and get what they need,” Teller said.

Donations may be dropped off at Graffiteez Ink, 5120 Twin City Hwy. in Groves or at The Palms Apartments, 877 Ridgewood Drive in Port Neches.

For more information call Graffiteez Ink at 54804568 or The Palms at 729-7777.


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