Apartment fire in Beechmont neighborhood leaves 12 homeless

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- At least a dozen people were forced out of their home after an apartment building went up in flames Thursday night.

The fire was reported around 8:30 on Feb. 9 at a a three story apartment complex on Bluegrass Avenue near Southern Parkway in the Beechmont neighborhood.

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the basement and first floor.  While crews were fighting the fire, officials say it started to flare up, and they were forced to evacuate.

It took about 50 firefighters to get the fire under control. Crews were still on the scene late Friday morning, watching for hot spots. 

Officials say in total, five different apartments suffered fire damage. But crews were successful in keeping the fire away from an attached apartment building.

Neighbor Christie Duvalls says residents told her that it appeared someone had "bundled a bunch of blankets together and threw gasoline on it."  Neighbors told us they awoke to the smell of smoke. 

"It was just scary like you always hear about it, you know, on TV, and you never think it's gonna happen to you," said Stephanie Jackson. "So it was just really numbing, honestly." 

Stephanie Jackson and her 9-year-old son live on the top floor. She says she's thankful her neighbors woke her up. 

"I was asleep on the couch, and neighbors started banging on all the doors, yelling fire! fire! So I just got my kid, and ran out of the building," Jackson said. 

Jackson says she lost almost everything in the fire, but is extremely thankful to have saved her son's birth certificate, and her daughter's keepsake box filled with memories. 

Everyone was able to get out safely, but one firefighter was treated at the scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Louisville Fire and Rescue Captain Sal Melendez did say it appears the fire started in the basement, and residents told them that blankets were on fire. 

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