NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Firefighters spent the evening battling a fire Uptown on Magazine Street near Valence at a two-story commercial building, destroying thousands of dollars in wedding dresses.
The fire tore through the upper residential floor of the building displacing four residents.
Katie Ward, the owner of Bliss Bridal, spent the morning going over the damage in her first-floor bridal shop.
Firefighters attempted to cover the dresses with a tarp but weren't able to prevent the gowns from being damaged by smoke and water.
"We don't really get down, we just figure out what to do to keep going," Ward said as she looked over the dresses.
Ward is pleased the only merchandise ruined in the store were samples used to help brides find the right size
"Every bride that was going to be wearing a gown from our store at this point had their dress. It was either in alterations or it had been picked up. We already spoke to designers, they put everything on a safe hold for me, so every bride will be just fine," Ward said.
Red Cross volunteers responded to scene helping the four residents displaced find a temporary home following the fire.
It's a response the volunteers are quickly getting used to after helping with more than 5,000 fires nationwide last month.
"We're responding one on one to families and helping those families with financial assistance for seven times more people this past December than we did a year ago," Kay Wilkins, Executive Director of the Red Cross South Louisiana Region.
Now the Red Cross is hoping to encourage more people to help their cause, asking for volunteers to show up for their disaster response training courses.
"We're conducting training in the next couple of weeks where we can teach you to be a disaster action team member. You can go to the fires with us, you can help your neighbor, you can help someone whose life has been turned upside down by disaster," Wilkins said.