The Red Cross is now assisting several families who lost their homes in a Blount County apartment fire Monday. Fire Chief Doug McClanahan credits those same families with getting each other to safety.
"I think the neighbors [did] an excellent job of getting everybody out, making sure everybody was safe," McClanahan said.
The fire was reported around 4:30 at the Kim Val apartments located at 1130 Law Road in Louisville. Heavy smoke and fire poured from the building.
There are six units in the building, and all but one was occupied
Nobody was injured in the fire, although the large flames and heavy smoke took a toll on the firefighters working that blaze.
"One of them twisted his ankle just a bit," McClanahan said. "He's being constantly checked on, I think he's ok. It's pretty exhausting work out here; you may see [firefighters] laying down from time to time to catch their breath."
The families are also trying to catch their breath, and Red Cross had a list of 11 people displaced by Monday's fire.
Sondra Rogers and her family are on that list.
"I had just gotten out of a homeless shelter with my children and I had moved into that apartment six months ago," she said. "And here we are again. I don't really know what to do right now, I'm in shock."
They watched the building burn from a grassy hill across the street.
"Everything that I worked for is gone," Rogers said.
Crews believe the fire started in one of the downstairs unit, but there is no official word yet on the cause. Fire Chief Doug McClanahan said they don't think somebody set this fire on purpose. He now plans to turn the investigation over to the Blount County Sheriff's Department.