Apartments burn during holiday fire


By Matt Swearengin - matt@durantdemocrat.com



Durant firefighters responded at 4:45 Thanksgiving morning to a fire at the Park Ridge Apartment Complex on Gerlach Drive across from Durant High School.


Photo by Durant Fire Department

Shown is one of the apartments destroyed in the fire.


Photo by Durant Fire Department

Tenants are shown at the scene of a fire at Park Ridge Apartments.


Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

This apartment complex caught fire early Thursday morning.


Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

Firefighters are shown at the scene of an apartment fire.


Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

A fire started in the second story of this complex at Park Ridge Apartments.


Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

An early Thanksgiving morning fire at a Durant apartment complex has left six families homeless, according to the Durant Fire Department.

Firefighters responded at approximately 4:45 a.m. to complex No. 16 at Park Ridge Apartments on Gerlach Drive across from the Durant High School, and when they arrived, the top of two apartments units were fully engulfed.

Fire Chief Roger Joines said firefighters used a ladder to rescue a woman from a second-story window.

Firefighters used the ladder on the tower truck to rescue a woman later identified as Cynthia Williams from her apartment. Her dog was also rescued.

Author Leslie Drennan posted on the Democrat’s Facebook page, “My mother was the tenant rescued from the second- story window. Thank you to all the first responders EMS, Durant Police, and Durant Fire Department for everything you did! If it were not for you all I wouldn’t have my mother today! You are all heroes and I can never thank you enough for your service, bravery, and selflessness!”

Two apartments were destroyed and four others received significant damage, according to the fire department. Joines said the Bryan County Red Cross is assisting the victims.

Williams later posted on Facebook, “My apartment burned up tonight. I lost everything. I am asking for prayers.”

She thanked the Durant Fire Department, Durant Police Department and Bryan County EMS for their service.

Some on Facebook said the victims were welcome to join their families for Thanksgiving dinner.

Tenants at the scene said smoke alarms did not activate. Chief Joines said that though the cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation, if it started in the attic, that could be why the smoke detectors did not activate.

Joines said firefighters put out the fire before it spread to other units.

“They did an excellent job,” he said.

Donations for the victims are being accepted at the apartment office.

Durant firefighters responded at 4:45 Thanksgiving morning to a fire at the Park Ridge Apartment Complex on Gerlach Drive across from Durant High School.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_DFD4-2.jpgDurant firefighters responded at 4:45 Thanksgiving morning to a fire at the Park Ridge Apartment Complex on Gerlach Drive across from Durant High School. Photo by Durant Fire Department

Shown is one of the apartments destroyed in the fire.

http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_DFD2-2.jpg

Shown is one of the apartments destroyed in the fire. Photo by Durant Fire Department

Tenants are shown at the scene of a fire at Park Ridge Apartments.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_IMG_7239-2.jpgTenants are shown at the scene of a fire at Park Ridge Apartments. Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

This apartment complex caught fire early Thursday morning.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_IMG_7246-2.jpgThis apartment complex caught fire early Thursday morning. Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

Firefighters are shown at the scene of an apartment fire.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_IMG_7243-2.jpgFirefighters are shown at the scene of an apartment fire. Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

A fire started in the second story of this complex at Park Ridge Apartments.
http://www.durantdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_IMG_7244-2.jpgA fire started in the second story of this complex at Park Ridge Apartments. Photos by Matt Swearengin | Durant Democrat

By Matt Swearengin

matt@durantdemocrat.com

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