Tenants displaced by a four alarm apartment fire on the lower South Hill are learning a tough lesson while they try to piece together their lives.
"It's the worst feeling ever," said Rachele Carnell, who lost almost everything in the fire.
On Tuesday, a fire started in the attic of the Tekoa Apartments on 7th and Lincoln and quickly spread. According to the Spokane Fire Department, the fire caused $1.2 million dollars in damage. Carnell did not have renter's insurance and is now struggling to figure out how she'll replace nearly $20,000 worth of furniture, clothing and other personal belongings.
"If it's not burnt, it's water logged or burnt by chemicals and smoke," she said. On Wednesday, Carnell sifted through the debris trying to salvage what she could.
"Like a war zone, like bombs went off everywhere," Carnell added. The Spokane Fire Department said most of the people living in the apartment building did not have renters insurance. "My sister and I first thing we said to each other, our next apartment we are getting insurance," said Carnell
A renters insurance policy will pay you the cash equivalent of your personal belongings destroyed or damaged in a fire. Courtney Smith, an insurance agent at Gary Deguire Farmers Insurance on the South Hill, said renter's insurance is cheap, easy to sign up for but often overlooked.
"They don't think that these bad things can happen to them until they happen and then you have nothing," said Courtney Smith
Smith said depending on the coverage you want, a policy will cost between $10 and $20 a month.
"It takes me approximately 10 minute to quote somebody. All I need is your name and your address," she said
Smith said a renter's policy also covers your personal belongings if they're stolen or vandalized.
For more information on selecting the right renter's insurance policy for you visit http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/home/renters-insurance.shtml