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Red Cross helps families affected by Greenfield fire

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Red Cross helps families affected by Greenfield fire

By Yona Gavino. CREATED Mar 3, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 3, 2014

GREENFIELD - Sixteen families that were displaced after a devastating fire in Greenfield are getting help. The Red Cross met with them to figure out where they’ll be staying.

Many of them are staying with family and friends. Some of the people are heartbroken because they had to leave precious pets behind.

Teri Schultz lived at the apartment for nine years. She couldn't hold back the tears as she thought about her pets.

“The snake was 8 years, and the turtle was 11,” remembers Schultz. “They were my kids.”

Monday, firefighters salvaged what they could. But tenants couldn't go in.

“It’s devastating knowing there still up there even if they’re dead. I want to see them. I do,” laments Schultz.

For now, she’s staying with family. The Red Cross is working with a rental hotline to find places that may be available. The apartment manager says tenants will have to call the leasing office to find available units.

"We’re booked,” says the property manager, Darla Kraemer. “We’re booked solid, and March is full, and April is full.”

Management has returned everyone’s security deposit. But that’s not all. Any of the displaced tenants who paid their March rent will have it fully refunded.

For some of the tenants, it’s little consolation.

“Well, it’s only $700,” explains Karen Switon. “I lost everything I owned. I don’t think it’s going to help a whole lot.”

Investigators are still working to find out what caused the fire.

Yona Gavino

Yona Gavino

Yona joined TODAY'S TMJ4 as a general assignment reporter in April 2013. Before moving to MIlwaukee, Yona spent two and a half years as a reporter at the NBC affiliate in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.