Apartment fire being investigated as arson on same day tenants are evicted

Overnight, fires blazed an apartment building off of 17th and D, on the same day tenants were supposed to leave due to a mandatory eviction. 

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Overnight, fires blazed an apartment building off of 17th and D, on the same day tenants were supposed to leave due to a mandatory eviction.

The mandatory eviction was imposed by a new company that recently bought the apartment complex. They gave tenants 30 days to move out. The sudden eviction notice was troubling to tenants who didn’t feel like they had enough time to move.

“They took our rent money last month, and now these folks are throwing us to the wolves,” says Reggie Calhoun, a tenant of the apartment building.

According to Lincoln Fire and Rescue, the first fire happened outside of the apartment complex at 3:15 a.m. Smoke seeped inside a window, but no damage was done. A few hours later, LFR crews returned to find a mattress had caught on fire. The fire is being investigated as an arson fire.

After the fire, tenants were told they had to make an appointment to go back into the building and get their things.

“It was just so abrupt and unexpected, and it’s the end of the month so people are just scared they won’t be able to get their things,” says Julie Domico, who is a caretaker of a tenant at the apartment.

Domico says the new company informed tenants that they had to move out in order for the company to renovate and repair the building. Tenants were still charged rent for the month of March.

“I wish they would have worked with people on the rent situation so they can get another place to live,” Domico said. “The majority of people that I know and have gotten to know are homeless now.”

Calhoun says that he and his family have moved across the street to a more expensive apartment building. He says he wishes the communication had been better from the property management company.

“It’s a hurtful feeling,” he said. “But we’ll make it. We’ll make it.”

The arson investigation is still ongoing. LFR says the total damage to the building is $25,000.

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News