DES MOINES, Iowa -- Dozens of residents remain displaced after the deadly Eddy apartment fire in Des Moines killed four residents last Thursday. "It's a blessing to be alive you know. It could have easily been us," said Alton Ralston a fourth floor Eddy Apartment resident. The majority of residents have found refuge at a local church but Alton has a unique situation, a six week old son. I'm not comfortable with my baby around fifty people. I'm gonna do what I can as a man to shelter my family."
So every day since the fire, after work and in front of the apartment building, Alton and his girlfriend have put in work asking for money to afford a place for the night and most importantly baby formula. Alton said, "From about 4:30 pm until about 7:00 or 8:00 pm." He added, "Right now we have two cans of formula so that might last four or five days."
Alton had already paid his rent through October but while he's been told he will get that money back, he doesn't know when. "I had to swallow my pride and come out and ask. I'm a working man and I work everyday. I try not to stay out here too much. I just want what we need to get by."
While most residents will be able to collect their belongings and move on, Alton and his family won't have that luxury. "There was nothing left in my apartment salvageable. Nothing, it's all gone."
Alton lived next door to Henry Ellis' apartment. While Henry died and Alton feels fortunate of his family's situation, he's also learned much more about the compassion Des Moines has for one of their own. "Some give two dollars, some five dollars, some ten and some twenty but people help. It's been all races," he said. Alton added, "People really have compassion around here. I love this city"
Alton says the community has pitched in enough for the family to buy their son five outfits and a place so far to stay the last few nights.