14 left homeless after fatal fire in Gary

2012-07-26T18:45:00Z 14 left homeless after fatal fire in GaryPaul Dailing Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 26, 2012 6:45 pm  • 

A day after a fire claimed the lives of a mother and daughter in Gary, the community is trying to help those left homeless by the blaze.

“The focus is now on ensuring that the apartment complex accommodates those who were displaced,” city spokeswoman Chelsea Whittington said.

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago provided food, clothing, shelter and other supplies for 14 people — including eight children — displaced by the fire at 5805 Kennedy Terrace in Gary's Miller Beach area.

Bernice King, 33, and her 14-year-old daughter, Angel Harris, were killed Wednesday in a mid-day blaze that Gary officials are treating as a “set fire." King's five other children survived.

Neighbors on Wednesday told The Times a male acquaintance of King's threw a Molotov cocktail at the door of King's apartment. They said his action was prompted by an earlier argument over an Xbox 360.

Forty of the 48 apartments in the building were inhabited at the time. Twelve were heavily damaged.

Whittington said there will be a Fire Department presence at the apartment complex on a daily basis with firefighters checking in as people move back.

As of Thursday afternoon, police were still conducting interviews, Cpl. Gabrielle King said. The family told reporters Wednesday that they know who set the fire.

Staff at the Lakeshore Dunes Apartment complex declined to comment Thursday. Bernice King's workplace could not be reached.

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