KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) —The American Red Cross is helping at least 15 families after two buildings at the Walker Springs Apartment complex in West Knoxville caught fire.
One of the buildings has been deemed a total loss by Rural Metro Fire. Now, residents who have been displaced are leaning on their community for help.
Nikkie White lived in Building K at Walker Springs Apartments Complex.
“Honestly I was thinking I’m going to lose everything I own and we don’t have renters’ insurance,” she said.
At the time of the fire, she said, “we were home, I and my husband were both home and we were just in the bedroom watching tv.”
Tuesday, they heard a knock on the door. It was a neighbor warning them about the fire in the complex. They got out just in time. From that point on, all they could do was sit and watch their apartment go up in flames.
In tears, White said, “and I just wanted my photos and I just wanted, I wanted it to stop.”
On Tuesday though, White got some good news. An inspector pulled two of her aunt’s rings that were handed down to her out of the rubble.
“Thank you so much,” she said to the inspector. “I appreciate it. Thank you.”
White says she’s been able to stay with her daughter for the time being but will soon be looking for alternate housing.
The American Red Cross gave her resources to replace clothes and other items she and her husband had lost.
Other residents say the community has reached out with open arms by giving them toiletry items and helping them replace other essentials.
“No matter what happens, humanity always comes on top,” said Sukhchain Singh who lived on the bottom level of Building J.
Singh said, along with the Red Cross, the apartment complex is trying to find them alternate housing, at least until their leases are up.
Even when losing almost everything, some residents are findings hope within their pain.
Singh adds, “so then now life is technically different. It’s a whole different vision of what life is all about.”
We did reach out to the apartment management on several occasions for a response to the fire and their tenants. We have yet to hear back from them.
Rural Metro says it has no updates on the fire at this time. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office shared that the investigation is still ongoing.