Apartment Fire Inflicts $175,000 in Damage

By: Ashley Harding

Authorities told Channel 8 the fire started on the bottom floor and extended to the top floor and into the attic.

They also say four units are not livable and those tenants are having to stay somewhere else.

This was the scene as eight fire trucks plus additional emergency crews worked to put out this apartment fire.

Tammy Adcock lives on the top floor and was home with her three kids.

She realized something was wrong when her 5-year-old daughter came to her saying she had seen smoke on the balcony.

Adcock said, “I said, 'No, there can't be smoke.'  You just, you know, it's just surreal, and she said, 'No mommy, there is something. I don't know what it is but you have to come look.'”

Authorities said it was started due to a badly discarded cigarette.

They said it was started on the bottom level and extended to the top and into the attic, leaving behind $175,000 in damage.

While some tenants were able to walk out, others had to force their way out.

Zach Francis, a tenant on the bottom floor of the complex, said, “Just punched out the screen and jumped out. Then my roommate was right after me. We were trying to find the cat but we couldn't get him. It was just too thick in there so we had to just get out.”

It was just a few minutes into our interview with Zach Francis when his 22-pound feline buddy Clyde was found safe and sound.

Fire officials said out of the eight units, four of them are unlivable and those tenants will have to stay somewhere else for the time being.

They also said this could have been worse if it had been spotted later. 

Jeanne Pashalek with the Lincoln Fire and Rescue said, “The child was first who observed the fire and alerted the parent. That's what was really the most critical point here. Is that there was early detection.”

Now again, several of these residents are unable to go home tonight.

Several will be staying with friends and family, while others are working with the Red Cross.