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Hundreds Dealing With Aftereffects Of West Philly Blaze

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(Community activist "Miss Patty," center, listens as Jean Mapp, right, and her daughter Tiana Williams, left, speak with reporters.  Photo by John Ostapkovich)

(Community activist “Miss Patty,” center, listens as Jean Mapp, right, and her daughter Tiana Williams, left, speak with reporters. Photo by John Ostapkovich)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- As the investigation into Monday’s five-alarm apartment house fire in West Philadelphia continues, residents are trying to cope with suddenly being homeless.

The blaze that tore through the Windmere Apartments, at 48th and Walnut Streets, affected dozens of units.  The local chapter of the Red Cross, marshalling its resources at a city school, prepared to help more than 100 people who had lived in them.

Some, like Jean Mapp (at right in photo), heard the fire alarm.

“Sometimes it goes off and nothing happens, so when it went off and I went out in the hall, there wasn’t nothing, no smoke or anything,” she told KYW Newsradio on Tuesday morning.  “So I go back in and then I hear the Fire Department come up Walnut Street.  I go back out in the hall and the hall is full of smoke.”

Mapp didn’t even bother to grab a coat or proper shoes.  She was in a light, zippered hoody and slippers as flames roared and more alarms were struck.

The Red Cross says it could use money to help with relief.  The Salvation Army is accepting clothes for those displaced.

But one resident, Casey Gleason, may not be able to be helped by relief efforts.

“The most unfortunate thing for me is, I got accepted into an art show at the Philadelphia Art Alliance and all my stuff that was supposed to be entered this Friday is still in there,” she said on Tuesday.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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