Warrensville Heights residents displaced after fire destroys apartments

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - In Warrensville Heights 16 families lost their homes after their apartment building was set on fire.

Police say David Chislton, 40, is accused of setting fire to his apartment after a domestic incident between he and his girlfriend. The fire spread quickly and destroyed the whole building

Monday afternoon, 25 adults and 20 children were given shelter at the Warrensville Heights Civic Center. The Red Cross and the city put them up in hotel rooms overnight.

Tuesday, city officials and The Red Cross gathered the victims at the Civic Center which will serve as a crisis management center. They closed the meeting to media -- many of the victims are traumatized.

"Clients are obviously in need of things like basic necessities, things like clothing, things like that so we're just assessing their needs, finding out what the client actually needs for their specific family and  then going from there," said Emily Probst, with The Red Cross.

Shequetta Woods says one of her needs is for her dog Chance -- he wasn't rescued until hours later and is still suffering the effects of the fire.

"He's barely opening his eyes, he just started opening his eyes. He's throwing up, he can't keep anything down. He's not active like he used to be, he's only 3 1/2 years old," she said.

As many of these families try to pick up the pieces, they're relying on the generosity of others.

"It was heart-wrenching to see what they had gone through. But I  think that they'll make it through. So we're hopeful," said Angela Smith Souza, Director of Communications and Activities, city of Warrensville Heights.

You can read more about what the city is doing by clicking here.

Chislton's bond has been set at $1 million.

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