DALLAS - The city of Dallas says, for now, it will pay for the nearly 300 displaced residents staying at hotels after the Oak Cliff apartment building they were living in exploded last week.
The fire department has since turned the building over to the owner of Highland Hills Apartments as the investigation into the cause of the explosion continues.
Investigators are still working to find out what led to the gas explosion.
Displaced tenants are staying in hotels.
"They just expected us to sit in the hotel and enjoy it like a vacation or something," Audelia Camarillo.
Some tenants and community organizers are demanding answers.
"We aren’t going to leave no one behind," Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins said.
Tenants cleared out of the complex to temporarily live in hotels, paid for by the city, but they were initially told they had to be out by Monday.
The issue for going back is that even for ones without damage to their units, the gas is off and there’s no hot water.
"No hot water. And there’s no gas. And it’s under investigation," Camarillo said.
"Ain’t no gas, nor hot water, nor nothing over there. How are you going to stay there?" Steven Spencer said.
Councilman Atkins said it’ll be that way until the property owner finishes inspections.
"They’ve got to go by unit by unit to make sure that everything is taken care of," he explained.
In the meantime, he said the city is paying to extend their stays.
"No one is going to be displaced. They can still stay in the hotel. There is not a deadline they can get kicked out of the hotel. We don’t know when the owner will finish all the repairs," Atkins said.
The city said it’s the property owner’s responsibility, but it’s footing the bill for now, calling it an emergency situation.
"We, the city of Dallas, don’t control what the owner gets done. He’s got insurance claims, we don’t know," Atkins said.
Tenants said it’s difficult living day-to-day out of a hotel.
"But a lot of residents here don’t even feel safe to go back," Camarillo said.
"You will be there until we find out when it’s safe for you to go back to the apartment. That is coming from me. No one else," Atkins said.
They’d really like to know what led to the explosion.
"We want answers, too. We have lives to get back to," Camarillo said.
Three injured firefighters are still in a hospital. Councilman Atkins said they are talking, but have a long time for recovery.