As investigators try to figure out what caused a massive fire at a historic hotel in Aransas Pass, residents who actually called the hotel home are trying to rebuild their lives.
More than a dozen people are now homeless, many of whom were only able to escape with the clothes on their backs. That is where the American Red Cross is stepping in to help those fire victims.
The Red Cross was there at the Jackson Hotel, 402 South Houston St. in Aransas Pass, throughout the day, offering things like food, clothing and a place to stay for the people who lived there before they were forced out by flames and smoke.
It was a huge fire that sent flames and thick black smoke into the air. A viewer shot video footage when the fire broke out at the corner of South Houston off West Goodnight Avenue.
The burned shell of the two-story hotel is now roped off in caution tape. Amazingly, everyone was able to make it out with their lives.
While it was a historic hotel, it was more like an apartment building. A few people were renting rooms there from month to month; residents like Robert Scott, who moved down from New Orleans six months ago and is looking to restart his life.
"My wife moved down, and eventually, we were going to start our life down here," Scott said. "I left to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I come back, and everything is up in fire."
"Everyone was saying it was a hotel," said James Butcher, a Red Cross volunteer. "More like an old apartment building. It's old wood, and it just went up like a matchstick."
The Red Cross is assisting at least 12 people who lived there. If you would like to help by making a donation, you can call the American Red Cross at 361-887-9991 or visit www.cbtredcross.org.
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