CHAPMANVILLE, WV (WOWK) – Eighty-eight residents of the Chapmanville Towers Apartments had their worlds turned upside down when they were left without a home after a fire broke out on the eighth floor Monday night.

Management and the Red Cross will decide when the building is safe again for people to move back into their homes. However, residents said the entire situation has been difficult to go through.

“Especially if you’re handicapped and you’re living above the fourth floor, two and up, it’s scary,” resident Angela Workman said.  

Workman said she some of her neighbors lost everything they owned when the building caught fire years ago. With that memory in mind, she said this situation was triggering for many.

“You mention it and they just start crying. It’s a sad situation,” Workman said. “I know where they come from because I’ve been there.”

Those who witnessed the fire said they too were worried about the residents’ safety. 

“I was really worrying about the senior citizens and how they might lose a place if that place burns down to the ground,” witness Jacob France said.  

American Red Cross volunteers have been on site since Monday night. They’re working with affected families to meet their immediate needs, such as providing medical care, shelter and food. They said community support is important too.

“If you go to church, reach out to your church family, reach out to anybody to let you vent because being able to have that shoulder helps a lot. just that hand to hold, shoulder to lean on. be that person for someone,” American Red Cross volunteer Sharon Mulcahy said.

Mulcahy said she’s spent a lot of time assisting victims of the fire, and she said many are dealing with a mix of emotions following the fire.

Mulcahy continued, “Yesterday it was heartbreaking. Today it’s a little bit better, a lot more hope.”  

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and efforts to remove water using fans and dehumidifiers are in place on all floors of the building.