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Victims navigate rebuilding after Brookside apartment fire

Posted at 5:03 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-16 11:18:23-04

TULSA, Okla. — It's the start of a new week for former residents of the Village at Brookside apartments after a massive fire destroyed over 30 units.

The fire started the evening of April 12th at the complex near 41st and Peoria. Tulsa fire officials said three buildings burned, damaging 33 units.

No one was injured.

WATCH: 2 News Oklahoma had live coverage as crews battled the fire and in the aftermath the following morning.

3 buildings burned in apartment fire near 41st and Peoria

Jay Coffin lived on the first floor and said he never thought losing his home to a fire would be a possibility, "when it touches you and the people you love – it's devastating."

He lost everything but a couple of mementos he salvaged.

WATCH: Drone footage shows the extent of the damage:

2 News drone footage of Village at Brookside apartments after April 12 fire

Without renters insurance, he said there's only so much he can do except continue being there for his neighbors.

"All the people in this building are absolutely amazing and love and care for each other," Coffin said. "We made sure everybody got out."

Coffin said he heard a loud explosion, and flames started working their way up to the second floor. He believes it started in the laundry room, but Tulsa fire could not confirm it.

The American Red Cross of Oklahoma is one of the main organizations helping people get back on their feet. They were on-site during the blaze and on April 15.

Spokesperson Matt Trotter said they've already helped 15 residents financially, spiritually, mentally, and through resource referrals.

Coffin said many of his neighbors did not have renters insurance.

"Every disaster is a little bit different," Trotter said. "We know insurance can help with a lot of things. Where we come is when people don't have the resources to cover those initial expenses."

The flames may be unimaginable for some people. But they are indeed real and can happen at any place, at any time.
It's why Trotter said it's important to have a plan.

"It just speaks to the importance of if a disaster happens, know what you're going to do and how you're going to take care of yourself and your family," he said.

American Red Cross of Oklahoma can be contacted at 1-800-REDCROSS.

Tulsa fire officials said the fire is still under investigation and a cause hasn't been determined yet.

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