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‘Families have lost entire lives;’ Jacksonville tenants feel forced out after apartment fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Families are in search of answers after losing their home in an apartment fire on Sunday.

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The City of Jacksonville has since condemned the building after a second-alarm fire displaced four families and killed one dog at Bentley Green Apartments in Baymeadows.

ORIGINAL STORY: JFRD: Large fire damages four apartments, 1 dog dead at Bentley Green apartment complex

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. This is the second fire at the same address in the last eight day, according to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

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The families who lost their apartment told Action News Jax that their leases were voided.

“This is something that happened unexpectedly, so of course we’re not prepared financially, mentally, physically,” one tenant told Action News Jax. “Now, we’re all stuck with very minimal minimal resources.”

The woman we spoke with is a single mother with four children.

“I wish there was more support because families have lost entire lives, everything they’ve worked for,” she said. “We’re not being put in other units.”

The Red Cross has given each family about $800 to use for a temporary place to stay. But, many of the families want to still live at the complex. They said they were told by management it’s not an option, despite paying June rent.

RELATED: Child transported with serious injuries after house fire in Westside neighborhood, JFRD reports

“Right now, to my understanding, there are no available units of the size for certain family sizes,” she said. “Based on this situation, even if it’s not a full unit that would accommodate our full family sizes, maybe even give us a smaller unit just to even let us ride out the rest of the month that we paid for.”

Action News Jax reporter, Meghan Moriarty, went to the leasing office Monday afternoon to get some answers.

“I’m not discussing anything just because of corporate. Then, we can go further from there,” one of the employees said.

She was told that they could not comment and referred to corporate. Moriarty called and emailed the corporate company. We still haven’t heard back.

“When you’re a single parent with multiple children and you don’t have family support, anything helps in this matter,” the tenant said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

To find out how to help the families affected a GoFundMe has been set up.

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