Darren Evans woke up about 2 a.m. Friday to a fire burning up the living room wall of his apartment at Emma’s Place Apartments in North Corbin.
When he was unable to extinguish the blaze, Evans said his concerns turned to his neighbors in the three adjoining units.
"I just started beating on the doors and yelling, "fire." Evans said.
When he got no response at one apartment, he said he kicked the door in and started yelling.
"I wasn’t just going to walk away," Evans said.
Fortunately no one was home and everyone got out of the burning apartments safely.
West Knox Firefighters were initially paged to the scene. Before they had arrived, they had sent out requests for mutual aid from
Keavy, Laurel County and Lily fire departments and asked Corbin Fire Department to send its ladder truck.
Corbin Fire Chief Barry McDonald said his firefighters reported that fire was coming out of the roof when they arrived on scene.
Firefighters were on the scene for more than four hours working to extinguish the blaze.
Two of the four units suffered fire damaged while the other two suffered water damage.
The state fire marshal is still investigating, Nicole Adams sat on a curb in the parking lot wondering what she was going to do.
"I have no clothes and no furniture," Adams said. "I lost everything.
"It took me 10 years to get the things I’ve got," she said.
In addition to those items, Adams said there are numerous personal items that can’t be replaced, including pictures of her father.
"I had five pictures of him," Adams said, noting that he died in 1983.
Adams blamed the apartment owner, Danny Smith, whom she said was letting another tenant continue to live in an apartment even after the electricity had been cut off to the unit.
According to Adams, the fire started when candles in that tenant’s apartment caught a couch on fire.
Smith said he had one vacant unit in another building and he has put one of the displaced families in it.
The Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross is working with the other tenants to find them shelter and food and clothing while they work to get back on their feet.
Officials were on site, speaking with the tenants and finding out what they needed.
While the Red Cross is not seeking specific items for the victims, monetary donations directed to aid the victims of the fire at the chapter’s website http://www.redcrosslexky.org/index.php?pr=Donate, by phone, (859) 253-1331 or 1-800-RED-Cross, or by mail.
Checks payable to the American Red Cross may be sent to:
Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross
1450 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40511
Officials said on the memo line of the check, note that it to aid the victims of the fire at Emma’s Place Apartments in Corbin.