Brookwood fire: Most residents now in new homes

Published 3:30 pm Monday, April 10, 2023

Of the 28 Brookwood Apartment Complex residents displaced by a February fire that consumed most of the structure, only a half-dozen are still awaiting new residences.

Arlene Carter and Jerry Corley of the Brookhaven Housing Authority, along with attorney Will Allen, gave the update to the city’s Board of Aldermen and Mayor April 4.

“Twenty-two residents were placed in hotels,” Carter said. “We have eight still in the hotel now, but by the end of the week we will be down to six.”

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“We have completed eight apartments with tenants moved into them,” said Corley, BHA maintenance director. “We had four lockers filled with clothing. We’re now down to two. People were so generous.”

The people who are in new-to-them apartments were moved into spaces vacated recently by other tenants. Each apartment has been fully rehabilitated, Corley said, and have had new furniture placed in them — kitchenettes, bedrooms, and living rooms.

“We’re moving. It’s slow, but it’s coming along,” Corley said.

Allen said investigators and lawyers were “digging into the scene” of the burned complex Tuesday.

“There’s no confirmation yet as to what caused it,” he said. “We have to leave the scene as it is until the investigation is completed. But we’re sitting on ‘go.’”

Allen was speaking to questions from the board as to when something new would be built to replace the destroyed complex.

“We were told it will be about six months that we have to leave it,” Corley said.

Ward 3 Alderman Charles Caston Sr. asked if insurance was going to pay enough to cover the rebuild, and if a new sprinkler system would be put into the remaining Brookwood building. Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore asked if the new complex would be built in a similar style as the housing units near Alexander Junior High.

“We don’t have an answer, but those are things I can ask about,” Allen said.

“We don’t know yet on style or even location,” said Corley.

Mayor Joe Cox then read a resolution from his office and the Board, acknowledging the City’s mourning for Jerry Ferdinand and Terrance Lewis, who perished in the fire.