Residents Affected by Explosion Allowed to Retrieve Belongings 

Wreckage from the explosion and demolition litters the grounds of the apartment complex. | Image from DigiChat

After the Wednesday fire and explosion at the Highland Hills complex in southeast Oak Cliff, hundreds of residents are left displaced without their belongings. The city said that some residents affected by the disaster can retrieve their belongings from their apartments.   

Escorts are required for those who lived in buildings adjacent to the one where the blast happened.   

One of those affected by the incident, Dejanette Dennis, was at the apartment on Friday evening with her three daughters, 7-year-old Azariah, 4-year-old A’leijah, and 2-year-old Justice to get their belongings. They also wanted to fetch their dogs, Lilo and Stitch, from one of the buildings next to the one torn down on Wednesday. According to Dennis, she was given about twenty minutes to grab what she could.    

Dennis told the Dallas Morning News that the residents of Highland Hills do not know what is going on at the complex because management hasn’t told them. “We have no communication with the management, so we don’t know who to call,” she said.   

The mother of three also said she had been in a hotel with other affected residents. “Tomorrow is our last day, and we’re going to be relocated to a different hotel, she said.   

She further expressed frustration at the lack of answers. “I don’t know what to do. We’re not sure if we’re losing our house completely or if we’re going to be able to move back,” he said. “I’m at a loss for words, honestly.”   

Another resident, Brooksie Reinhard, also complained about the lack of communication from the management company. She also said that her rent was automatically deducted from her bank account on Friday, even with the state of things.   

The city made a news release stating that the Office of Emergency is coordinating with hotels and extended-stay businesses to house affected residents for the weekend. Their press release also informed residents of the office’s efforts with the apartment management and the complex owner to determine longer-term plans.

Affected residents with renter’s insurance are also encouraged to call their insurance companies quickly. 

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