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.
Shown is one of the apartments destroyed in the fire.