GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) – Apartment units in Gastonia were destroyed by a Sunday morning fire.
The Gastonia Fire Department says they were called to Destination at Union apartments on Union Road at 1:36 a.m. The apartments used to be called the Patriot Apartments. When firefighters got there, they say smoke and flames were coming from the back of the three-story apartment building.
Residents were evacuated and no one was hurt. Fire officials say when crews arrived to the scene, they saw neighbors going door-to-door, helping each other escape the fire.
Video from a neighbor shows just how big the flame got.
The evacuation was ongoing when fire trucks rolled up, but then firefighters helped that evacuation along. The fire was put out in about 30 minutes.
Gastonia fire officials say 12 units made up the building. Of the 12, five sustained heavy fire damage, the others had mostly smoke and water damage.
Neighbors living in that cluster of apartments say all of their possessions are destroyed.
Timothy Furlow just moved into the apartment complex with his wife last week, but now, they’re picking up the pieces.
“We’re just trying to rebuild, and get back on our feet,” Furlow said. “Our apartment is totally burned out. Everything. Couch gone, baby clothes and crib, everything is gone.”
Furlow’s wife is pregnant. He says she got out of the apartment before she could inhale any smoke. “The first thing we were thinking about is our safety,” he said.
The Gastonia Fire Department Fire Investigations Task Force is investigating what sparked the fire.
In the meantime, Furlow and his wife are still looking for a place to stay. They moved to Charlotte from Houston, Texas, and do not have any family in the area.
“We’re just going to take it one day at a time.”
Despite destroying all of their possessions, Furlow says everything lost in the fire is replaceable.
“They’re going to build another building, but you can’t replace a life,” he said.
The Red Cross is helping the families displaced by the blaze. An official with the organization says 11 of the 12 displaced families have already reached out.
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