Arson charges have been filed against a man Silvis police say started a fire in his apartment building Saturday night.
Officers picked up 20-year-old Desmond Williams outside the building on 10th Street after firefighters got there. They say the arson charges came Monday.
When visiting the scene Monday, a blown out window was a reminder of the chaos that took place the night of the fire. The result left 16 tenants with uncertain futures.
The multi-unit building is still standing, but it’s too dangerous to let the tenants back inside.
One tenant is really suffering from this fire, along with the memories of one from his past.
“I can’t get into the building to get my cat that passed away, get him out and buried and cremated and all that,” Karl Taets said. “The worst part about all this is my son that I lost in a house fire in 2011. His ashes are up in that room and I can’t get to him because I can’t get into the building.”
After the fire, tenants were told about residences the Red Cross had available, but were given $500 instead.
“Red Cross did come…and they were able to help us out with a couple of nights to sleep at a hotel but further than that I’m in my car,” Akeem Watson said. “Whatever money they gave us is not enough to support us for 2-3 weeks, ya know? They were prepared to give five people a place to help out. After that all the tenants we’re all looking around like, ‘Five? What are you talking about?’ Then they went off to talk and that’s when they came up with this $500 for everybody on this card.”
Tenants were told by the Red Cross that more help was coming, but have not been helped just yet.
“They should be calling us…we shouldn’t have to be calling them,” Watson said. “When they seen us they said that somebody was going to get in contact with us. No one’s got in contact. I’ve tried calling twice…I left a number I left a message. I left a detailed message. My phone still has not gotten a message from the at all.”
One tenant even started a GoFundMe page at