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'I just realized that I lost my home': A look at the aftermath of a Kansas City, Missouri, apartment fire

Ash Lakota
Posted at 12:02 AM, Apr 17, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A fire at an apartment building last week near East 27th Street and Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, displaced six adults and three children.

The burden of a fire inside someone's home is particularly great on low-income or vulnerable residents.

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"I just realized that I lost my home," Ash Lakota, a former resident at the apartment building, said. "That's kind of when I really started feeling alone. It's completely stripped away my sense of independence and freedom and security."

The Kansas City Fire Department responds to about 2,000 fire calls every year.

The American Red Cross responds to hundreds of those fires to offer help.

Red Cross is the first, and without insurance, sometimes the only safety net.

But once those resources are gone, victims without a support system are left to fend for themselves.

"I guess I was expecting maybe any sense of direction," Lakota said. "It was really overwhelming.”

She's trying to find a new place to live and come up with the money needed to move in.

"I have to just figure out everything all over again, but also still act like everything's completely normal," she said.

Even if she had it, you can't just buy a sense of home.

"It took away my sense of security the most," she said. "This was my first home on my own. And I was really proud of it."