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Family loses everything in Eunice apartment fire

Posted at 7:42 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 20:42:59-04

EUNICE — Fifteen people are coping with the loss of their homes after a fire over the weekend.

It happened at an apartment building on the Eunice Iota Highway.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire. Investigators haven't officially determined a cause, but they believe the fire may have been caused by an electrical issue.

Lori Richard says she woke up around 3:15 a.m. to her daughter, alerting her of the fire.

"'Fire, mama, fire! Get out!' When I opened the door to talk to her, the fire just engulfed my apartment," said Lori.

Lori's daughter says her air conditioner caught on fire, which then caused her entire apartment to ignite. The fire quickly spread to three other units.

Lori's two other children and five grandchildren were also home when the fire started.

Lori's husband Anthony said before he knew it, he couldn't see anything because of the smoke.

"I grabbed what I could and came out. The wife was calling everyone's names to make sure everybody was accounted for," said Anthony.

Everyone was able to escape; however, three dogs didn't make it.

"We had to come and wake these people up... help them get out. It was so hot so fast. It was just unreal," described Anthony.

Lori says she was overcome with emotion when she realized everyone was safe.

"When I figured they was all here, I just grabbed them, and we all just fell to the ground, crying because everything we worked all our lives for was just gone in a matter of minutes."

Although the Richards have a long road ahead of them, they are grateful for family and the help they've received from the community.

"I'm so thankful that they're safe because I can't replace them," said Anthony. "We can replace everything else, but you can't replace family."

A GoFundMe account has been created for the family. If you'd like to make a donation, click here.

You may also bring donations to Raceway 748 on E Laurel Avenye in Eunice.