Residents in limbo after senior apartments burn

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Photo from Ryan Thomas

LAWRENCE, Ind.- The effort is underway to help more than a dozen people who lost almost everything in a fire on Monday.

The Benjamin Court Senior Living Facility in Indianapolis went up in flames Monday morning. Now, residents are having to find new places to live as they’re left with almost nothing.

“The fire started all of a sudden,” said resident Jacquelynn Boyd. “It’s like it swept through there.”

Boyd thinks she lost everything, while resident Virgil Cross knows he’s got nothing left.

“Ain’t nothing salvageable,” said Cross. “Nothing.”

They’re just two of the dozens of seniors impacted by the fire; both spending Monday night at the Benjamin Harrison YMCA.

“Some of them had robes on, we had to get clothing out of our lost and found so they had appropriate clothing on,” said the YMCA’s director Jenny Sera, who was among the YMCA staffers who ran inside the burning building to help before firefighters arrived.

“We instantly went inside, started knocking on doors, asking people to evacuate,” said Sera.

Fire investigators still haven’t established what sparked the blaze.

“It’s just really surreal and sad right now to look at it today in the sunlight,” said Michael Wells, a nephew of Cross.

Those displaced are now wondering where they go.

“Everybody has really been here for us,” said Boyd. “We’re just waiting to hear from the apartment complex.”

A representative from the facility would say is that they’re “putting together plans” for the residents, and to call back later.

“They’re not saying much, they’re not doing a lot.” said Wells, “They’re leaving a lot up to us to do.”

If there is any comfort in this, it’s that no one died or got hurt.

“I don’t like to see property loss, but you know what, there was no injuries and no fatalities,” said Lawrence Fire Chief Dino Batalis, “and that’s a huge win.”

If you’d like to help, the Lawrence Fire Department has set up a GoFundMe Page to accept donations.

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