Fire at Okolona apartment complex ruled arson - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fire at Okolona apartment complex ruled arson

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say an apartment fire earlier this week was intentionally set. 

Fire officials were called to the Derby Estates apartments on Robinwood Road, around 1:30 a.m. Monday and found heavy fire and smoke coming from the building. At least 14 adults and 10 children were inside the building at the time.

Austin Perry says he was sleeping inside, but a call from his girlfriend on her way home work him up. 

The timing was perfect because he woke up and realized something was wrong.  

"I ran to the front door just to see what was going on and I just felt heat coming from the front door," he explained. 

Perry says he had to jump from a second story window of his apartment to escape. Asia Neblett says she helped get kids out. 

"She just kept saying 'I have babies, I have babies!...' And I was crying, I was like 'you got to throw them out, you've got to throw them out!' So she threw them out one by one to me," she recounted to WDRB News. 

Investigators say everyone was able to get out unharmed. But the fire put more than 20 lives in danger and displaced residents. 

They also now say that fire was intentionally set. 

"The fire originated inside a common area of the apartment. You come inside, anybody has access through that front door area," said Arson Bureau Major Chris Jenkins. 

The Metro Arson Squad is asking for tips to track down who did it. Jenkins says even small details can help.

"If you were driving by at the time, did you see a car come out or a truck or any type of vehicle? Did you see anybody on foot," he said. 

Perry and his girlfriend, who are now trying to clean up and move on say they know one thing about the suspect. 

"Whoever did it, did not care about the lives of the people there," said Perry's girlfriend, Tonais Bayless. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Arson at 502.574.3721. 

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