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"It's hard on the whole community:" Beaver Dam looking for help in aiding survivors of deadly apartment fire

BEAVER DAM, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Five days after a deadly apartment fire in Beaver Dam, residents forced out of their homes are now looking for new homes and apartments.

The community is reaching out for help to aid those struggling to get back on their feet. The survivors say they jumped out of broken windows as the flames grew. With their lives on the line, they left behind everything and are now thankful for the community that has been supporting them.

"I saw smoke coming up from the floor," Erick Webb was on the second floor when the fire started on Saturday. He yelled to his neighbors, pulled the alarm, and ran outside.

"I caught her cat from the second floor and she jumped out the 2nd building floor," Webb said.

Webb and his fiance are staying at Super 8 for now but they have a baby due on May 11. "Playpen, bassinet, the whole works, everything ready to go, just gone."

Hallie Merrihew and Nicholas Billie grabbed their 6-month-old baby and climbed out the window. "We can survive the smoke for a couple minutes but he can't," said Billie.

They and everyone else are now looking for a new place to live. Jade Wilson, 24, and Corrin Bolin, 63, didn't survive the fire.

Webb says Bolin lived in the basement and had trouble walking. People said they heard her screaming.

The deadly fire comes just a month after a chemical explosion at another complex.  Thursday evening, small businesses came together to discuss helping the survivors. 

Mayor Rebecca Glewen says it has been hard on the small city of Beaver Dam.

"People know each other, they take care of each other, and certainly it's hard on the whole community," said Rebecca Glewen, the Beaver Dam Mayor.

St. Vincent De Paul has been helping victims of both tragedies. They're now looking for furniture donations as survivors find new places to live.

American Bank has also set up an online donation page.


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