UPDATE: Victims of Knott Co. apartment fire receive more help

By: Matthew Rand, Tanner Hesterberg, Katie Roach Email
By: Matthew Rand, Tanner Hesterberg, Katie Roach Email
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Officials with Hazard/Perry County Community Ministries are assisting some of the fire victims in paying rent on their new homes.

Troublesome Creek Times

HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - More help is on the way for dozens of people left homeless by an apartment complex fire Monday in Knott County.

Officials with Hazard/Perry County Community Ministries are assisting some of the fire victims in paying rent on their new homes.

"We've got a small pot of direct assistance money that is set aside just for things like this that render people homeless," said Becky Deaton, residential life coordinator at Community Ministries. "That is going to be used to pay for security deposits to help gets folks back in houses."

Brenda Chaffins lost everything and moved in with her daughter and grandkids. She said the rental assistance is a big help.

"My grandkids, they all want me to stay there," Chaffins said. "But if Grandma can go find her a home, Grandma's got to get back out. It's not because I don't love them, but my nerves are too bad."

Thanks to the help from Community Ministries, Chaffins may find a home sooner rather than later.

"It helps a lot," she said. "It's a great deal to me."

About 30 people were affected by the fire.

Several churches in the area are also collecting donations and offering various forms of assistance for fire victims.
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HINDMAN, Ky (WYMT) - It left more than two dozen people homeless, and now officials say the fire that destroyed an apartment complex off Highway 160 in Hindman appears to be accidental.

"It's unexplainable. You just can't explain it, and I went through so many emotions with it. Then I realized I had to trust God," said Geraldine Slone who lives under the apartment where the fire started.

She along with about 30 other people were left homeless.

State Fire Marshal officials tell Mountain News an electrical problem caused the fire.

"You feel for them. You try to help out in any way possible," said Ray Mullins, the disaster relief coordinator for the Red Cross.

The Red Cross was back on Tuesday helping victims get their feet back on the ground.

"I am trying to assess their needs. Most of them have lost everything. I give them a credit card and let them get what they need," said Mullins.

Many of the victims are unsure of what their futures holds.

"For right now we are going to talk to the Red Cross, and they are going to help us out, but after that I don't know exactly what's going to go on," said Brenda Clark. "But I mean with the support of the community we will find a place, eventually."

"We trust God that we are going to get a home, and he will take care of us," said Slone.

Most say they are taking it one day at a time.

If you would like to help the victims of the fire, you can drop off donations at Hindman First Baptist Church or the Beckham Combs Community Center.
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HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Fire officials are calling it a total loss. A fire consumed an apartment building Monday afternoon off Highway 160 in Knott County. Despite the damage, no one was seriously hurt.

"This is the type fire that one fire department can't handle," said Carr Fork Fire Chief Bobby Thomas.

That is why several area fire stations came to help put out the blaze Monday in Hindman. The fire began around noon, quickly spreading throughout the entire building.

"Well it's tough," Thomas said. "I mean this is a completely metal structure, metal walls, metal roof. It's just hard to get into it and do any good with it."

The building continued to smolder late Monday afternoon, but authorities say the building is under control. They say county police and the sheriff's office will be on the scene making sure the perimeter stays secure throughout the night.

County officials say they have called in the Red Cross to help those displaced by the fire find food, clothing and shelter.

"They showed up today and they're going to help, meet with some of the families, all the families in the morning at 9 a.m. and they will be helping them going forward," said Judge-Executive Zach Weinberg.

Authorities still do not know what set off the blaze. Investigators have not ruled out arson, although they doubt that was the cause. What they do know is this was a big one.

"This makes me 27 years as a fire chief and it's the largest fire I can remember," Thomas said.

Officials praised the response of all the firefighters who worked to contain the flames and make sure everyone stayed safe.

Anyone left homeless by the fire can contact either the Knott County Human Services Center at (606) 785-4095, or the county judge's office at (606) 785-5592 to get connected to the Red Cross and other relief groups.

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HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - At least 30 people are without a home as a result of a fire at a Knott County apartment complex.

"I'm a little shook up," said Brenda Clark, who lives in one of the apartments damaged by the fire at the Knott County Housing Authority. "Because I moved here from Indiana nine months ago and it's been really horrible."

"It makes me hurt inside," Clark said. "Because now I don't know if I have any belongings left."

Terry Watson was at his daughter's kindergarten graduation when he heard about the fire. He was able to salvage a computer and some cash.

"When I first saw it, I knew it was in pretty dire straights," Clark said.

Victims of the fire can get help at the Hindman United Methodist Church.

"We are giving families a place to stay and shower and maybe get a couple meals," church member Fern Nafziger said. "Until they can sort things out and find a better place to stay."

The church can be reached at (606) 785-5210.


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