Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

Investigation continues on Wharton apartment fire

East Bernard Express of East Bernard, Texas

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WHARTON — The investigation on the fire at Briar Pointe Apartments last Tuesday was continuing this week.

The Texas State Fire Marshal's office on Tuesday afternoon gave no details about the fire investigation, but stated that the type of case is one of "origin and cause."

The fire, which destroyed 60 apartment units, leaving 81 residents without a home, is one of the worst fires in the city of Wharton's history. The 81 people that have been displaced from their homes have found places to stay with family and friends. The shelter that was open to all fire victims has been shut down in Richmond.

"Everyone has found a place to stay, and we had no one left here to provide shelter." said Jeffery Stewart of the American Red Cross.

The devastating fire brought the citizens of Wharton together over the the past week. Hundreds of donations have been made at numerous locations of clothing, food, personal hygiene products and household items.

The American Legion, which was designated as the centralized location for collection, was filled with clothing.

However, they could still use donations of gift cards and personal hygiene products.

The American Legion has opened their donation center for pickup since Monday and will continue with distribution of items to the affected apartment residents through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Volunteers are still needed to sort through clothing and make sure all things are easily accessible to the fire victims. After fire victims have been helped, recent flood victims will be able to gather things from the donation center.

St. James Missionary Baptist Church has established a fund to help the residents living at the Briar Pointe Apartments who lost their homes because of the recent fire.

Those who wish may help play a significant role in assisting the community by donating to the St. James Missionary Baptist Church Apartment Fire Fund at First State Bank, 505 E. Boling Hwy. in Wharton.

Church officials said 100 percent of the donations will go directly to support the individuals affected by the fire.

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Original Publication Date: June 23, 2016

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