WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Several families are out of a place to live this weekend after a fire destroyed an apartment building Monday morning. The fire started around 8 a.m. Monday in the 2800 block of S. Emporia. The Wichita fire chief said it started on the second floor but quickly spread to the third floor and attic.
“My aunt, she had to kinda fight her way out of the apartment because of course the apartment next to her’s was on fire, and her front door was on fire, so she had kinda like fight or flight,” said Diamond Dorsey.
Dorsey’s aunt is just one of many searching for a place to call home after the fire.
Fire crews called in more help to get it under control, and now recovery is a challenge for some who are finding a place to sleep.
Diamond Dorsey woke up to a lot of missed calls, saying her aunt’s apartment was on fire. Her aunt was too shaken up to talk, but Diamond is sharing what happened.
“I had just seen her a little bit ago. I think she is devastated because who expects to be woken up to smoke and fire,” said Dorsey.
Diamond Dorsey said her aunt Doris’s apartment was right next to the one where that fire started.
Doris, her daughter, and their two dogs made it out, but Dorsey said her teen cousin was hurt.
“She has, I think it is like a second-degree burn on her arm and wrist, but, um, she is 14-15, so she is just like trying to absorb everything that has happened to her,” said Dorsey.
Dorsey said the fire, water, and smoke destroyed most of her aunt’s belongings.
“We are just in the process of making sure they are safe and have somewhere to lay and providing for them and rebuilding them,” said Dorsey.
The Red Cross was called to help the victims.
“Most of them had never gone through anything like this. A lot of them were teary on the phone,” said Matthew Hitchcock, American Red Cross.
Dorsey’s cousin was treated on scene for the burns but did not need to go to the hospital.
“We are a unit, and it is only us, so we are just trying to stick together and help where we can,” said Dorsey.
Hitchcock said if you would like to help out the displaced residents, reach out to the apartment complex’s property manager or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.