‘I’m just devastated we lost everything’: Residents work to rebuild after apartment fire injures 7
SPOKANE, Wash. — A fire that broke out on Saturday afternoon at the GoGo Heights Apartment complex injured four kids and three adults, leaving lasting damage for those trying to rebuild.
“I’m just devastated that we kind of lost everything,” said Klena Poydras, whose apartment is totally destroyed.
People were jumping out of second and third floor windows to get to safety. Poydras’ and her roommates apartment wasn’t burned in the fire, but the roof and other walls caved in. This was her first apartment she’s rented and is sad and a little frustrated to see all the hard work they’ve put in destroyed.
“It wasn’t our fault, so I’m just more worried about what my neighbors are going to do,” she said.
Devin Kimmerly, her roommate, was home when the fire broke out. He says he heard a boom and then scrambled to try and get his pets out and make sure all his neighbors had escaped.
“I went straight into panic mode. I didn’t know what to do,” Kimmerly said. “I was running back and forth. Thankfully, we got the dog out, and we got out.”
No one died in this fire, but one victim was transported to Harbor View with severe injuries. Half of the city’s fire resources were on scene to extinguish the flames, and firefighters say being proactive about fire preparation can save lives.
“Have a meeting place because the thing about it is your kids may need to go out a separate window or a separate area from you,” said Greg Rogers, Fire Marshal with Spokane Valley Fire Department
Rogers encourages having conversations early on and often about various escape routes from your home. He also says jumping is the best idea if you find yourself unable to get out any other way.
“We can fix broken bones,” he said. “It’s harder for us to fix burned bodies.”
Some families are still living at the apartments but haven’t had power since Saturday.
“We went and tried to find a generator, but that wasn’t working out. They’re a little expensive,” said Bryce Ducharme, who lost power after Saturday’s fire. “We’re just kind of wondering when we’re getting our power back on.”
GoGo Heights was able to find Poydras and her roommates another unit to move into. Now, they’re packing up their belongings and counting their blessings.
“We’re blessed that we’re alive, that’s for sure, and we were able to get out as quick as we were,” Kimmerly said.
The fire is still under investigation to determine the cause.
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