DO NOT DELETE -WN TEST-24 apartments destroyed in fire

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - About sixty people lost their homes after a fire ripped through the Oaks at Brandlewood Apartments early Saturday morning.  The blaze destroyed an entire building, a total of 24 apartments.

"I've lost everything," said Jnai Whitehead who lived in one of the apartments.

Whitehead can't hide the tears. She just held onto her friends, wishing it was just a bad dream.  But it's not a dream. Now she and 23 other families must deal with it.

"Don't know where to go or what to do. We're just sitting. I mean what do you do?" asked Whitehead.

Whitehead tells WTOC around 4 am her neighbor was cooking and something caught on fire.

"I had just gotten off the phone and my neighbor upstairs over me came knocking and beating on my door stating she was cooking and she took her pot and threw it on my balcony. I saw a small fire on my balcony. I went to grab my daughter and nephew to wake them up that's when she was like let me in, let me in. I was scared and I didn't know what was going on and that's when I went to try to grab some stuff.  By then my whole balcony was blazing with fire," said Whitehead.

While Whitehead was busy rushing out of the apartment, Jordan Trevino was just waking up. Trevino lives in the apartment building across from Whitehead.

"I heard a little girl screaming and crying, then I seen lights flashing. I thought it was like a joke cause people joke so I walked outside and it was no joke," said Trevino.

Trevino ran to the burning building and started banging on doors. "If that had been me I'd hope somebody would could to help so I ran over there. I wasn't thinking about no fire," said Trevino.

And neither were the Soutside firefighters who pulled one young man out moments before the roof caved in. Battalion Chief Brett Waters with Soutside Fire and EMS says it was rough in there. "At one point we had a back draft situation form in one of the apartments which caused a small explosion," said Waters.

Right now it appears everyone got out safe and sound.

"I just thank God I made it out safe," said Whitehead. "Me, my daughter and nephew, I just thank God I wasn't asleep."

Fire investigators, along with the state fire marshal are at the complex trying to determine exactly what happened.

The official cause of the fire has not been released.

Most of the families who lost their homes have turned to the Red Cross for help. 19 of the 24 families have signed up for assistance.

The Red Cross says taking care of all these families is going to cost a lot of money.  They're hoping the community will pitch in and help.

If you interested in donating just log onto their website at

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