Woman loses almost everything in apartment fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Janae Fleming's apartment in Arlington burned. Just about everything she owned was torched. She thought her topsy-turvy world would get better when she turned to her apartment complex for some answers and assistance.

That feeling turned into frustration. She is now living with her mother. Fleming said one thing could have made most of her troubles disappear. Renter's insurance.

"It was devastating. I felt like I died a thousand times," Fleming said when talking about how she felt in the hours after the late June fire that tore through her apartment.

She was at work and had no cell phone coverage. She had no idea about the fire until after she got the phone call.

"Everything was almost gone. It was charred. I couldn't think straight," she said.

She said she ran into a myriad of problems with the complex management. The assistant property manager could not make a comment, but said they're aware of her concerns and are working to resolve them.

"What can I do to make sure this doesn't go on my credit?" Fleming asked. "Am I going to get evicted? Do I need to pay next month's rent?"

Fleming showed FCN a copy of her lease that says in part "We urge you to get your own insurance for losses to your personal property." Including damage from fire.

"I encourage everyone to check out the complex where they're going to stay," Fleming said. "Make sure that they're up to code and also have renter's insurance."

Fleming said the red cross is helping her find a new place to live.

"It's all about working with the family, making sure their emergency needs can be met," Christian Smith, with the Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross said.

Emergency needs like having a place to stay, food, medications, clothing. and long term needs. The Red Cross helps whether you have insurance or not.

"Obviously, having insurance is ideal for all family member, however, Red Cross assistance is always based on the emergency needs at the time," Smith said.

If you feel like you need Red Cross help, call 904-358-8091.

Fleming said she is going to speak to an attorney.


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