A fire at a Richmond apartment building has left 27 homeless and numerous families in need of aid.

No one was injured in the blaze that began around 3:20 a.m. Saturday morning, said Red Cross Director Mary Kate Jones.

“There was a man who had four dogs and two of them died,” Jones said.

“But everyone made it safely outside.”

The blaze, which occurred at 511 Ballard Drive, still is under investigation by fire officials and no known cause was available at press time.

The biggest problem in the aftermath of such a tragedy is the fact that so many families are now in desperate need of housing and care, Jones said.

The Red Cross has placed those who were burned out of their homes at the Red Roof Inn in Richmond, she said.

Food vouchers from Save-A-Lot and clothing were also given to the families, some of which include small children.

“We are talking about 12 families that need a home,” Jones said. “That’s a lot of people.”

The Red Cross will incur the cost of the temporary housing until Tuesday, Jones said. After that, other agencies or the community at large will have to step in because of restraints on what the Red Cross can do.

“We can only do so much. We can only accept monetary donations,” Jones said. “I know that in the past, the community has opened its’ arms to people in these types of situations. I am hoping that there is someone out there that can help these families.”

Richmond Fire Department Public Affairs Officer Corey Lewis said that all units responded to the scene but he would not know any specific information concerning the fire until Monday morning.

Anyone who is interested in helping the victims of the fire can contact the American Red Cross at (859) 623-1336 in order to make a monetary donation or to be put into direct contact with the families.

Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@richmondregister.com or by phone at 624-6694 or 893-2341.

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