CROSS LANES, WV (WOWK) — Some families won’t be spending Easter morning at home after fire spread through their apartments near 40th Street just after noon Saturday on Cross Lanes Drive.
“There was no time. I grabbed my phone, my keys and got out of there and then started knocking on doors,” explained Erica Dukes, who lives next door to the apartment where the fire appeared to have originated.
Dukes was getting ready to do some work around her apartment when she heard something out of the ordinary.
“We just heard a loud boom. I just thought maybe something of his fell upstairs. But then I came to look outside and it was nothing but smoke. Then the air conditioner at the top upstairs window had just blew out the window and the next thing you know there were flames,” Dukes said. “So we just got out of there.”
People in the community quickly saw what was going on and came to make sure everyone was safe.
“I actually live right down the road close to Cold Spot and I hear a bunch of fire trucks, somebody told me an apartment complex down here was on fire and I have a friend down here,” explained community member Erica Beary. “It was my friend’s apartment. It is a total loss.”
Firefighters from many neighboring communities came to help keep the fire from spreading. Even with the extensive damage, many are thankful things didn’t turn out worse.
“I’m just glad she wasn’t there,” Beary said about her friend. “She told me she literally just left her apartment when it caught fire and we are glad she wasn’t in there.”
While Erica Dukes had to leave fast to go alert her neighbors the whole time she was worried about her cat Charlie who also made it out safe and sound.
“I’m glad. I mean I’m glad no body was hurt,” she said. “Everybody got out. But I mean things can be replaced but people can’t and I’m really close to my pet. I’ve had him for 12 years and he couldn’t be replaced either.”
The American Red Cross was also on scene to help those families. It’s still not clear exactly what started the fire.