EASTPOINT, Fla. – More than 100 people waiting for temporary housing for almost two weeks ago, which is displaced by a forest fire that burned through their small community in the Florida Panhandle.
In a Panama City News Herald report , Franklin County Sheriff A. J. Smith has said that the attempts of the 31 camper trailers for the families to come to a halt amid bureaucratic red tape at the end of last week.
“I’m frustrated,” Smith said. “This is a weekend with these people out in the heat. This is unacceptable.”
Capital Community Action Agency CEO Tim Center, said that his office would work with state and local officials to reimburse the county for trailers that can be moved to a separate home sites in east point.
“They will be provided free of charge for up to six months,” Center said. “This is not a permanent solution. This is a temporary solution. What we want is a sign of hope for those families who have been displaced.”
The fast-moving wildfire began at the end of June 24 and reportedly came out of a prescribed fire ordered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The blaze claimed the houses of 36 families and burned about 820 acres (330 ha).
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has sent experts in Eastpoint to help the residents file a partial claim settlement for up to $ 5,000 per household to assist with immediate needs. Friday, 16 of which claims are paid.
Displaced residents are appealing to the generosity of others in the community for shelter and supplies. Many in the community have donated food, money and clothing.
“It is really very difficult,” said Alexa Shannon, who lost the home she shared with her five children. “There are no words for it, really … terrible, devastating, heartbreaking. And it still smells like fire and destruction.”
Dominick Rotella’s house was spared from the flames by a fire in the line cut in his front yard. He has been allowing the neighbors who lost their homes to camp on his property, and use laundry facilities, while they wait for help.
“They don’t have these people no help for a place to stay,” Rotella said. “A kind of support would just warm your heart a little bit.”
Information from: The (Panama City, Florida.) News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com