Families Still Trying to Find Housing After Apartment Fire in Westlake

Families claim they have contacted the building's owner with no results.


Following a fire that damaged an apartment building in the Westlake area on April 6, many tenants have been left homeless with no help from the building's owner.

Some tenants, like Tomás Serbellón, had no other place to live than their own vehicle.

"I stay here to sleep because I have nowhere to go," Serbellón said.

Despite certain medical problems, Serbellón acknowledges that he does not want to leave Calle Cambria, where the damaged building is located. He points out that he has lived and worked there for 30 years.

"Here I am very happy in life because people come here to buy," Serbellón said.

He says he will continue to sleep in his car and use the area's public restrooms until he gets help.

About 30 people lived in the apartment complex before the fire engulfed the building. Police arrested a man for allegedly causing the incident with fireworks.

The flames damaged the building, leaving tenants with few housing options.

"I beg you, sir, please help all of us who live here," said María Beltrán, who lost all her belongings in the fire. "It's not just me, there are kids."

Beltrán shares a room with four people in her cousin's apartment.

"We are sleeping wherever the night falls," Beltrán said.

The tenants said they have contacted the owner's office with no results. The Red Cross gave them money cards. However, it was not enough to rent another apartment.

“We have gotten help from the Red Cross, from other companies but we haven't gotten help from him,” said Lesly Jimenez, a resident.

Roberto Sánchez's family also spent the first few days in a vehicle, along with the few belongings they rescued from the flames. But, with three children, they don't consider it safe to live that way.

"As an adult, you can stay wherever you want," Sánchez said. "But with a child, it is very difficult and dangerous to be on the street."

A generous person paid for five nights in a hotel for them. The rest of the time they have spent with relatives.

Telemundo 52 contacted the owner of the building by phone. However, he hung up the call as soon as he found out who it was.

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