14 families displaced by fire, Red Cross steps in to help

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - On Thursday, 14 families were brought to the Jessamine County Health Center after many of their apartments were destroyed by a fire on North Central Avenue in Nicholasville.

“All you saw were just flames everywhere in the back and the roof just started sinking in,” said Shakiea Fischer, whose apartment suffered smoke damage in Thursday’s fire.

“They said ‘fire fire’ and we all jumped up and ran and got our coats and shoes on,” Tara Hall told us. Hall says she’s been living in her apartment with six relatives for the past year.

For nearly 50 residents, the clothes on their back were all they had when they were rushed out of their apartment building and into the bitter cold.

But when Thursday’s disaster struck, the Red Cross stepped in by providing the essentials of food, clothing and shelter to folks whose futures are now uncertain.

“We don’t want anyone to go without heat or food. We want to make sure their immediate needs are taken care of,” said Rich Conaway, a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer.

The Red Cross and Winter Wood Management has arranged for the 14 families to stay in a hotel until Sunday. At that point, they'll have to reassess the situation to determine what the next step should be.

“We are all just hanging in there, being one big family that we are and being there for each other,” Fischer told us Thursday night.

Firefighters allowed some residents back into their apartments to grab some belongings if their apartment wasn't too badly damaged.

Firefighters say four apartments are a total loss while the other seven suffered smoke and water damage.

Officials are investigating statements from some residents who say the fire was sparked by children playing with fire.

On Thursday, WKYT received the following press release from Habitat for Humanity regarding Thursday’s fire:
Habitat For Humanity of Jessamine County in cooperation with the CORE (Community Outreach) program of the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce has activated the R.O.C.K. program (Revitalize Our Communities in Kentucky) to assist the victims of Thursday’s apartment complex fire at 108 North Central Avenue in downtown Nicholasville.
The Red Cross says nearly 50 people have been displaced during the fire in the 12 unit apartment complex. As Of 9:30pm most of the residents have found temporary shelter with other family, in hotels, or at the Health Department.
Imagine your family losing EVERYTHING in a Fire while you stood outside in sub-zero temperature watching as it all goes up in smoke and flames.

R.O.C.K. Jessamine is asking the community to stand behind our neighbors in their time of need.

Donations of clothes, food, new or gently used household items are being collected at Habitat For Humanity who is working with the Red Cross and The health department to make sure those who lost nearly everything, have some help in rebuilding their lives.

Cash donations can also be made at the Habitat ReStore. Please make checks Payable to R.O.C.K.

Local churches and businesses are urged to help in this hour of need, with their donations and support.

If you know of any temporary housing situations you are urged to contact Ron Bishoff at Habitat/R.O.C.K. or for more information about the local “disaster”. 859-881-1906.

Donations can be dropped off at the Habitat For Humanity ReStore marked R.O.C.K. at 317 North Main Street in downtown Nicholasville.

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