Family says Charlestown apartment fire was 'deja vu'

Families displaced after S. Ind. apartment fire

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WHAS) – As billows of smoke filled the Charlestown sky Friday afternoon, Amber Walker took out her cell phone to take a video, but her curiosity quickly turned to concern.

"At first we thought it was from the grill over there," she said.

"When they come running in the door - 'There's a fire!' - You’re going, 'Where?' That's the first thing," Barbara Walker, Amber's mother, said.

For the Walkers, the fire at the Parkside Trace Apartments where they lived was a little too close for comfort, and it is not just because it happened a few yards away from their home.

"Two years ago last week, our house burnt down, so when we see flame and fire like it was, you don't know what to do," Barbara said.

Friday afternoon's fire destroyed part of one of the apartment buildings. Fire officials believe a cigarette in one of the ground-level units is the culprit, leaving several people's homes in ashes. Officials believe the fire destroyed between four to eight units.

"Glad no one's hurt," Amber said.

"Yeah, that's the big thing," Barbara added. "We've been there. We'll talk to them if they want because we know what they're going through."

"Even if nobody was hurt, that damage is too much, no?" Parkside Trace resident Joseph Ndungu said.

For other residents like Ndungu, Friday afternoon was stressful. Ndungu said he received word from a friend, not knowing if his home would fall victim to the blaze.

"I was trying to compose myself because there was nothing I could have done even if it was my apartment," he said.

For some, what used to be their home is now a taped-off field of debris. But the Walkers say the key is to be positive, as hard as it might be in the midst of tribulation.

"Stay strong," Barbara said. "Don't let it bring you down because if it does, it starts really affecting your life."

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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