Report: New Orleans Fire Victims Were Musicians
December 29, 2010 at 8:16 AM (PT)
It has been revealed that eight of the "homeless squatters" who perished who died in a fire at an abandoned warehouse in NEW ORLEANS were accomplished musicians and artists who who were burning debris to keep warm, reports YAHOO NEWS. Firefighters could not tell the ages or genders of those who died TUESDAY because their bodies were so badly burned.
According to an acquaintance of the group, RACHEL PARK of CALIFORNIA, their ages ranged from 19 to 30. The victims never thought of themselves as homeless and rejected the "gutter punk" label used by some locals to describe transient youths, who are often seen begging for money or cigarettes on FRENCH QUARTER Streets, she said.
"They were all accomplished musicians or artists -- jolly, happy people," she said.
PARK knew the victims by first names only and said one or two were from the NEW ORLEANS area, while the others were from elsewhere in the U.S.
A 23-year-old man who escaped told the AMERICAN RED CROSS he could not get back in to help his friends because of the smoke. A group of young people sitting on the steps of an abandoned house near the warehouse said the dead included three women and five men.