55 people were displaced by Saturday's fire on the
6500 block of North Atlantic. Some of them are staying
at a local Red Cross shelter during their search for
new homes. Volunteers say it's one of the largest
responses they've had in the Spokane area since the
Valley View fire in 2008, where they sheltered more
than 130 people.
"If we have a large group of people and they need
a place to stay, we want to make sure they're safe
so we have them come into a shelter," Red Cross volunteer
Sally Stuber said.
The shelter is set up at the nearby Spokane Friends
Church. About 20 people are sleeping there each night.
The Red Cross is working with agencies like Catholic
Charities to find permanent housing for them. Until
they do, the shelter will stay open.
"Because these are larger family groups, it's going
to be a little harder for them to find a place to
rent and to get relocated," Stuber said.
It's been an even harder week for several of the residents.
James Betsinger was attacked by a pit bull outside
his apartment last week. He and four others were injured
by the dog. A few days later, the fire destroyed his
While Betsinger was still nursing his stitches from
the incident, he spent Sunday sifting through his
apartment to pack up what's left.
"I always got to try and find the positive in the
negative," he said.