Displaced Residents Fear People Are Getting The Wrong Idea About Them

By: Michel Mason Email
By: Michel Mason Email

As two people killed in an apartment fire are laid to rest others who survived the fire are left picking up the pieces.

Several residents who survived an apartment fire in Pikeville earlier this week still face a rough road ahead.

The two people who lost their lives in the fire, 41-year-old Tammy Lockhart and her 17-year-old son Justin were laid to rest.

The funeral was Saturday afternoon at the J.W. Call Funeral Home in Pikeville.

You may recall that tempers flared and police arrested a woman who lived at the burned building and one of her friends.

Our cameras caught officers taking Brandon Adkins to the ground after they say he threatened the manager of Landmark Inn, where the displaced families are staying.

Both Adkins and Kristi Ratliff were charged with disorderly conduct.

Now other people left homeless from the fire say what happened at the hotel Friday should not reflect badly on the rest of them.

They're afraid that's exactly what's happening.

Those left homeless by the fire were, for the first time, able to come back to the apartment building to see what they have left.

They told WYMT’s Michel Mason the manager of Landmark Inn has done nothing but help them try to get back on their feet.

Whether it was providing numbers for potential landlords, to simply bringing them extra towels, they say he was kind.

For some residents of the building in downtown Pikeville, Saturday was the first time seeing the damage inside their apartments.

Patsy Williamson could only salvage a few items of clothing and a couple of towels.

“Between the water, the smoke and the sawdust, the holes in the floor. the power gone it was almost like walking in a tomb,” Williamson said.

Elijah Rogers managed to fill the back of his pickup with some of his mother's belongings.

Rogers says he and his wife and his newborn baby lived above the unit where the fire started and had just recently moved out.

He feels for his neighbors who lost their lives.

“They were really nice people and I feel bad for the family that it happened to,” Rogers said.

Many of the displaced residents say given the stress of losing their homes, they hope the community knows they don't approve of what happened at the Landmark Inn on Friday.

Residents say they fear their neighbors actions might prevent others from coming forward with help.

Which could mean that they might still be homeless come Monday.

Residents tell me the state fire marshall returned to the scene of the fire again on Saturday.

For now, the cause is still under investigation.

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