The Squat Fire

City of the Rails Episode 9 focuses on my reporting on the 2010 squat fire in New Orleans where eight young travelers died.  Here are bios I did of seven of the eight – I was unable to contact the family of Jeff Geertz — including pictures provided by their families.  They were deeply loved and are missed.

Jonathan Guerrero was a generous guy, an old soul in a young body, with a big heart for the down and out, the people who had no food, nor any place to stay.

Justin Lutz was artistic, with a darkness in his work, but those who loved him always saw his light.

Melissa Martinez was fearless. She would try anything. And at the age of 17, all she wanted was to be free.

Nikki Pack talked fast, and was spontaneous too, always ready for the next adventure, and a great traveling companion.

Katie Simianer had no fear. Her motto was “I promise myself to never stop living life as an adventure.”

After a fractured childhood, Sammy found a family on the streets of New Orleans.

Tony Zaleta’s photos “have him with this mysterious wink, as if he knew something that we didn’t.”