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Fire destroys local apartment
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Children jumped for their lives from a second-story window as an early morning fire completely destroyed a unit at Lakeview Apartments on Wednesday.
Eight families lost everything, but fortunately everyone survived the blaze that started around 1:15 a.m. at the apartment complex located near McMinnville Country Club.
“I heard my neighbor yelling ‘Fire get out, get out,’” said resident Donna Rosales. “I opened the door and fire came right in my apartment. The only thing I thought was I have to get my grandkids out. One was sleeping on the sofa so I grabbed her and threw her out the door. The biggest one was in the bedroom. I went back and got her and we crawled out.”
When she got outside, Rosales heard her neighbor, David Meeks, screaming that his kids were still inside his apartment. The children, Autumn Meeks, 10, and Nick Meeks, 11, jumped out a second-floor window to safety.
“A neighbor caught them when they jumped,” said Rosalez. “But his wife jumped over the person trying to catch her and she her hurt leg and her head.”
Apartment manager Debbie Banerjee says apartment resident Chris Ralston likely saved everyone in the eight-unit apartment. He noticed the fire from another apartment unit and rushed outside and started banging on doors.
Banerjee says they are offering affected residents a place to stay in other vacant apartments on the property. She says it’s the first time there has been a fire at the apartments build by her late father, Ben.
Local Red Cross director Kathy Nesmith says she is working to ensure the displaced families have a place to stay.
“We’re going to make sure we provide them a place to stay or they have family members who provide it because right now they don’t have anything other than the clothes on their backs.”