Everman Arson Victims Find New Homes, Appreciate Donations

Dozens of donations were delivered on Saturday to the 60 arson victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As police in Everman close in on an arsonist suspect, the victims of Thursday's apartment complex fire are starting to find new places to live.

    As police in Everman close in on an arsonist suspect, the victims of Thursday's apartment complex fire are starting to find new places to live.

    The early morning fire at the Oakwood Terrace Apartments in Everman left 60 people without homes and many were forced to stay at an American Red Cross shelter set up at a Fort Worth community center.
    That shelter is set to close on Sunday, but on Saturday night, the Red Cross expected three to 15 people to spend the night.
    Victims of the arson fire aren't necessarily relieved to hear that police are narrowing in on a suspect, as they're more focused on starting over and are appreciative of all the help they've received.
    "We’re just trying to get around and get things back to normal," said Brandon Roney.
    Normal may seem like a long way off, but it's getting closer thanks to countless community donations that piled up at an Everman elementary school on Friday and were handed out to families on Saturday afternoon.
    "We got diapers, stuff for my kids, water, I think a box of shoes," Roney said. "Stuff that I'm really grateful and appreciative for."
    Roney lived at the complex with his son and mother, Carolyn. NBC 5 met Carolyn on Thursday morning as she wiped away tears and watched her apartment be destroyed by the fire.
    "She’s doing a lot better than the other day," Roney said. "She’s still down, like I said, all the memories."
    Helping to bring the arson victims new memories are volunteers like Shirley Jenkins and her daughters Summer and Jessica, who spent the day sorting and then distributing donated clothes, diapers and drinks to the families.
    "When someone in the community of Everman hurts, we all hurt," Jenkins said. "This [work and donations] is to me not enough, but I'm going to do all I can. I just want to be there for them."
    It's the kind of effort Brandon Roney and countless other victims, certainly appreciate.
    "It's an amazing feeling to know that people like that are willing to help and give their time and dedication to help people like myself and family members and other people in our apartment complex in need."
    Volunteers say they are still many more items that were donated at a local elementary school.
    On Friday investigators said they had identified a person of interest and that an arrest could happen soon. On Saturday there was no word on any arrest for the arson fire that quickly consumed the 24 unit apartment building.