Several families displaced after fire in apartment complex

“It’s a miracle that me and my mom are alive.” – Stewart Christison

Fifteen people lost their homes following a fire at Meadow Run Apartments on Saturday.

The fire broke out about 11:30 a.m. at the 16-unit apartment complex located at 1020 East Main Street. Only eight of the apartments were occupied, according to Danville Fire Chief Doug Simpson. Most were damaged by smoke and water, and aren’t inhabitable because the utilities have been shut off while a fire investigation is underway, he added.

Three engines and 13 firefighters fought the blaze, Simpson said, and neither they nor the occupants were injured.

“The firefighters did a fantastic job. We could have lost the building,” he added.

On Tuesday, Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder said the residents who were displaced by the fire were the most he’s helped through the Red Cross at one time. “But it worked out fine. That’s what the Red Cross does.”

Angie Muncy, who is the Red Cross “point person” and the county’s director of waste management, said by the time she arrived at the scene, Battalion Chief Gabe Heatherly had already gathered all of the victims’ names and phone numbers and she passed them on to the Red Cross headquarters so that everyone could be furnished with temporary housing and money to purchase things like clothing, food and hygiene supplies until they could get back on their feet.

Stewart Christison and his mother, Clara, lived in an apartment that was damaged in the fire. “It’s a miracle that me and my mom are alive. It is nothing short of a miracle,” Christison said Tuesday as he was looking over the damage.

He said they had been asleep when the fire began and he thought they were the last ones out of the building.

Christison said they are staying at the Red Roof Inn and “church people are helping us” as well as the Red Cross. “People are being so good to us.”

Christison said they’ll probably be able to salvage all of their clothes, but “we’re going to lose a lot of furniture. I’ll be going back and forth to see what I can keep,” he said.

Natasha Bryant, along with Josh and Michael Yates also lost their home on Saturday. “It’s been a rough weekend, but I’m doing OK,” Bryant said.

Bryant works at the Lisa Walker Center for Women in Harrodsburg. It’s an addiction treatment center for women, she explained. She said they had to leave the apartment so quickly when the fire broke out, they weren’t able to take anything with them. So, she’s using the some of the money Red Cross provided to “buy a few outfits for work.” They’re also spending money on food, while a church is helping to pay for a room for another night.

Once the investigators give them permission to return, she said they will “try to get what’s salvageable. There was a lot of smoke damage.”

Brittany Hicks, along with her two children, ages 2 and 4, and boyfriend Robert Beal are also trying to figure out what to do next, Hicks said. She doesn’t work, and Beal is on Social Security and disability, she said. “We’re trying to figure out what to do. Maybe we’ll go back to his hometown in St. Louis.”