Frustration grows for seniors displaced by fire

Posted at 7:55 AM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 08:55:48-04

Some of the residents at a Greendale apartment complex that caught fire in April say the person they believe is responsible isn't being held accountable. 

A resident at Ridgedale Apartments told TODAY's TMJ4 last month that the fire started in her unit when a candle fell on the floor and rolled under the couch. The blaze left more than a dozen residents without a home.

But according to a police report, days before the fire the resident told a family member she wanted to burn the apartment complex down. 

The report says investigators believe the fire may have been caused by something other than a candle.

Police originally recommended the woman be charged with arson, but the District Attorney didn't find enough evidence. She was then cited for negligent handling of burning material.

But residents, most of them seniors, say a ticket isn't enough.

"No, no cause this could happen again and you never know who and when," resident Cynthia Gray said.

"If the person responsible comes back, I will be leaving," resident Helen Ferguson said.

Carol Watts has been staying in a hotel for two months, and has had enough.

"I want to come home," Watts said. "At least I had insurance and they're covering me, but that still doesn't make it right."

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  • In the police report, an investigator says he believes the cited resident has mental health issues.

    "I always feel safe here, but now that this happened you never know," resident Florence Doll said.

    The building manager says they've offered residents with and without insurance an alternative place to stay.