SPOKANE, Wash. -- At least 10 units were affected by an apartment complex fire in North Spokane Saturday afternoon. There were 41 people who were displaced by the fire.
The fire was burning near the intersection of N. Atlantic St. and W. Lyons Ave, not far from Division St. and Francis.
Flames were burning units on the top floor of the building. The bottom floor suffered significant water damage, officials said.
Nearly 40 fire crews from Fire District 9 and Spokane Fire were working to put the fire out.
Several families and their children were displaced.
One woman said she was sleeping with her three young children when her 9-year-old woke her up and her closet was on fire. She said a neighbor tried to put out the fire but then it spread, catching the attic on fire and spreading throughout the complex. She added them, along with several other people, pounded on doors and helped get their neighbors out.
"It was up in flames, too much black smoke. At that point I was just getting all the kids out,” said visiting family member Karen Johnson.
"I heard the kids screaming and yelling there was a fire. So I tried to get everyone out,” said resident Harold Anien.
The road on Atlantic from Houston to Lyons was closed.
One of the fire victim’s said she lost everything except a picture of her deceased mother. She said fire fighters were able to save it.
"I am just devastated. It's just hard for me and my family,” said Sharon Quarles.
Another man lost everything in his downstairs apartment to water damage.
"Some of the kitchen stuff I can save, but I lost everything pretty much,” said Harold Anien.
Anien said he is not sure what he and his five children will do next.
“We lost everything. I don't know where we are going to stay,” said Anien.
People stopped by offering food and clothing.
Anien and Quarles both said they had found an apartment to stay in, but many of the other families are staying at a Red Cross shelter.
There were no immediate reports of injuries. The cause of the fire remained under investigation.
The Red Cross was on scene providing help to the residents affected by the fire. They were working to open a shelter at Friends Church at 1612 W. Dalke. The Red Cross said they would also provide assistance to residents to replace lost clothing, food and medications as well as mental health and long-term recovery planning support as needed.
The community can support local disaster victims like these by making a donation to the American Red Cross. They can stop by 315 W. Nora Avenue to make a donation or donate online.