ATLANTA - Many families were impacted by The Reserve at LaVista Walk apartment fire on Nov. 10, but one family says it's affecting their daughter's ability to receive treatment for her severe, debilitating medical symptoms.
They’re scrambling to figure out what to do next.
Ramesh Aitipamula says he and his family were only able to escape the fire at the Reserve at LaVista Walk apartments with a few clothes.
"We came out with nothing but P.J.’s," Ramesh said.
His family lived in building one, which suffered the most damage when the roof collapsed during the fire.
The fire started after police believe two people lit fireworks on the roof.
But for Ramesh, they lost far more than just an apartment full of stuff.
"My daughter, she's the one suffering the most because of this," he said.
Ramesh’s daughter Avira suffers from a form of autism that manifests in severe self-injury behaviors.
"She actually lost an eye. So, she had to be continuously in protective gear with the helmet and restraints," he said.
He moved his family here from Salt Lake City because Emory’s Marcus Autism Center is the only place in the country where his daughter can get the treatment she needs.
And because of her condition, she can’t ride for long periods of time in a car.
So, the Reserve’s proximity to the Autism Center was crucial.
"She can’t sit in a car for long because she has that behavior. So, I have to stay close to Emory. So that's why we chose this apartment. It's only one mile from here," Ramesh said.
The fire stripped them of that easy access to the autism center.
Before this, Ramesh says they were actually on track to return home to Utah in January. But, he says the stress and upheaval from the fire has caused his daughter’s condition to deteriorate.
"This happened, and now she's back to square one where she's engaging in a lot of self-injury," Ramesh said.
He believes they will likely need to be here for several more months.
Ramesh tells FOX 5 his family is scrambling to find another apartment within a mile or two of the Autism Center.
This father says he won’t quit until he does.
"I have to find us an apartment for the safety of my daughter. I'm going to do that no matter what," he said.
Ramesh says the owners of The Reserve offered to allow him and his family to one of their other apartment buildings they own, but they’re all much farther away from the Marcus Autism Center.
Ramesh encourages everyone to donate to the Center.