Families displaced after fire find comfort in a hot meal, community support

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HOLTS SUMMIT - For families displaced after an apartment complex fire, a warm meal puts the comfort in comfort food. Holts Summit soup kitchen served its usual Tuesday dinner with extra prepped for the families displaced.

"We're taking it day by day, hour by hour, that's all we can do," Chrissy McKeller, mother of seven. 

The fire started at 2 a.m. on Monday at the Evergreen apartment complex officials said.

Everyone made it out of the 30-unit building safely, but the amount of damage deems the structure a total loss, according to Holts Summit Fire Protection District.

Heather Tatkenhorst was asleep at the time of the fire. She said officials woke her and her fiance up and pulled them out of bed to save them from the fire. She said she barely having time to grab a bath robe.

"Pretty much out the door, I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures, and it was gone, everything burnt," Tatkenhorst said.

Holts Summit Soup Kitchen co-manager Darrell Brauner said two extra pans of lasagna is a simple ask of the soup kitchen.

"We don't have clothing or anything like that [to give these families] but we have the option to feed you a hot meal," Brauner said. "And you don't have to do dishes or anything like that."

McKeller said the soup kitchen opening its arms is another example of the tight knit community.

"Being homeless and not knowing where your next meal is going to come from or how you're going to get your next meal and having people like the soup kitchen, or the Red Cross providing that stuff, it's amazing," McKeller said.