Alamo Drafthouse Helps Apartment Fire Victims - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Alamo Drafthouse Helps Apartment Fire Victims

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The Austin Fire Department saved hundreds of lives Thursday morning.

"Our door gets knocked on and it was just like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," said Carlton Billingsley.

Andrew Gray added, "All I saw was like a building and then just behind the building was, giant flames and smoke."

Drew and Carlton work at the Alamo Drafthouse and before the fire, they were roommates at the International Residence Apartments.

Billingsley said, "I didn't grab anything because I was having to carry animals, our pets. We have a dog and two cats."

"I literally had the shirt on my back and I had been playing basketball previous to that, so I had borrowed my friend's basketball shorts," added Gray.

The massive blaze destroyed 68 units and rows of parked cars.

Gray said, "Another employee who worked here, she had just purchased a new car and it's gone...and they had just moved in four days ago."

Hundreds of people were not only displaced, but lost everything to the flames.

"Kinda just coping with it day by day, but it's just, we've gotten a lot of help, that's for sure, from friends and family," Gray said.

Now, Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a silent auction to raise money for six of their employees and a donation to the Austin Disaster Relief Network.

Billingsley said, "Alamo Drafthouse has done more than I could ever imagine, like, a job would ever do for me."

It all came together in 24 hours and some items were even donated by relatives of the fire victims

"It looks awesome," added Gray.

Bidders can choose from movie art posters, celebrity pictures, bottles of wine, even an "Office space" bat, autographed by the entire cast.

"Everybody's been charitable, just everybody. Anybody who's just given me a hug and told me it's going to be alright," Billingsley said.

Gray added, "I was working last night and we had guys coming up to the bar, offering anything they could to help."

They're grateful to be alive, but still adjusting to being displaced by the fire.

Billingsley said, "Our apartment was right over there and I'm always used to getting off work and then walking home. That's been the biggest change because I always walked home."

They're staying with friends and family right now.

"I really just want to get back to our own place," said Billingsley.

Gray said, "We will."

After Christmas, these friends plan on officially being roommates again.

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