Dallas City Councilmember Tennell Atkins called on citizens to assist residents and firefighters impacted by the gas explosion at the Highland Hills Apartment complex, (5850 Highland Hills Drive, in Oak Cliff in southern Dallas County) on Wednesday.
“I’m asking for donations to be made to the American Red Cross at: www.redcross.org,” he told the media at a press conference this morning. “I want people to get help.”
It has been reported that four firefighters and four residents were injured during the explosion that caused the partial collapse of one building.
Senator Royce West issued a statement, “My prayers go out to the families impacted by the apartment explosion on yesterday. Continued prayers for three of the firefighters listed in critical condition.”
The Senator pointed out that, “10 units were in the building that exploded and all the building residents have been located and accounted for. Because of the magnitude of the explosion and ongoing follow-up investigations, the gas has been shut off to the entire complex and therefore, 300 residents have been displaced.”
Although there were only 10 units affected, the entire complex was evacuated, and residents were placed in hotels until an inspection has taken place, officials said.
In the meantime, residents do not have access to their belongings and several parents said as a result, their children couldn’t go to school and they couldn’t go to work.
When asked about previous complaints from tenants about the smell of gas, Councilman Atkins said there had not been any received into his office.
The City of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, the Texas Railroad Commission, apartment management and other entities are working together to make certain there is a thorough investigation and inspection process.
Sen. West also shared that some of the displaced are utilizing vouchers for off-site housing, “As soon as we know what is needed to assist the displaced residents, I will update you so that those wishing to help, can.”