Residents coping with the aftermath of Jane Lew apartment fire; donations being accepted

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:42 PM EDT
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JANE LEW, W.Va (WDTV) - A fire at the Jane Lew Manor Apartments Thursday evening came as a shock, and now many are without homes and trying to gather anything that’s left.

Residents remember the moments before everything changed.

“The smoke just poured in when I opened up the door,” John Barnett, a resident at the complex said.

He lived in one of the eight units in the Jane Lew Manor Apartments Complex that was affect by the fire, leaving him with hardly anything.

The resident of four years says the moments before evacuating his apartment, he was watching TV. Next thing Barnett knew, there was a knock at his door where he was greeted by smoke and a firefighter telling him he had to come out.

“The smoke was so bad I could hardly see the steps,” he said.

Multiple agencies spent hours on the scene. The roof of the complex collapsed and many apartments that weren’t directly affected suffered from water and smoke damage.

“Oh, it’s a mess. I can salvage quite a bit of my stuff, but not everything,” Barnett said.

Other residents have different worries.

Sylvia Mathes said her apartment has no damage, but after the fire, the electricity was turned off and no one is allowed back in until the Fire Marshal finishes their investigation and the decision on whether the building will be condemned or restored is made.

West Virginia State Police assisted residents that could enter their apartments, grab a few items they felt were most important to take, everything else had to be left behind until further notice.

“Currently, I guess I’m homeless,” Mathes said. “Red Cross put us in a motel last night and now we’re on our own. So I guess I’m sleeping in my car because I don’t have anywhere else to go,” she said.

Like Mathes, many residents are figuring out where their next home will be or how to replace the items and necessities they can.

“I guess I just have to take it day by day,” Mathes said.

Maria Adams said her diabetic nephew was one of the people who lost everything in the fire. Now she’s hoping to be a helping hand to him and others by helping collect and give out donations to those affected.

Information on what donations to provide and where to drop them off can be found below:

People can drop off donations at The Prospector office

having an address of 299 Red Rock Rd., Buckhannon, WV at any time Monday through Wednesday 9 to 5 any questions please call 304-439-0422

Men’s and women’s clothing, bedding, household appliances tables chairs furniture etc. greatly appreciated.

Maria Adams

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