January 16, 2006
A family of nine is looking for another place to live after a fire broke out in a South First Street apartment in Charlottesville.
"He hollered. He said 'momma, there's a fire next door," said Catherine Adams, a neighbor.
At around 10:00 a.m. on Monday South First Street residents saw smoke coming from the neighboring apartment.
"I didn't see a fire, all I saw was a lot of smoke, and she said she tried to put it out and she couldn't do it," said Adams.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze that started in the bedroom, where the kids were playing with matches.
"We think it may have been in the mattress area, but the fire is under investigation by our fire marshall," said Charles Werner, the Charlottesville Fire Chief.
Fire officials said the apartment is completely destroyed and now the two adults and seven children that lived there are homeless. Neighboring apartments did have minor smoke and fire damage but the residents are not moving out.
"I'm not worried about the damage; the only thing I was worried about [was] everybody's life," said Adams.
While no one was hurt in this fire, several other apartments surrounding it were evacuated because of the heavy black smoke.
"The most important thing is to make sure everyone gets out," said Chief Werner.
The family is looking to the Red Cross for help with food, clothing, and a place to stay.