New photos and first hand account of Sunday morning apartment fi - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New photos and first hand account of Sunday morning apartment fire

Bianca Gildersleeve and Jasmine Scott walk into their room at a Montgomery extended stay hotel. Bianca Gildersleeve and Jasmine Scott walk into their room at a Montgomery extended stay hotel.
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Here is an update on the Sunday morning fire at Ashton Apartments in Montgomery.

The photos of the fire were sent to us by Ashley Farmer who gave this firsthand account of the fire:

"...my brother and friends (who are ex military) actually woke a few families up in the surrounding apartments and probably saved their lives, a few minutes after the  families got out the inner stairwell collapsed. By the time the firefighters arrived it was totally engulfed. One girl we talked to said "I don't know which of you guys knocked on my door but thank you" she lived there by herself and the banging on her door set her dogs to barking which is what woke her up, she said she was a student at ASU.  The boys who woke them up are in one of the photos standing next to a fireman."

 

Below is the original story we posted on Sunday:

 

"This is home, now," says Bianca Gildersleeve as she plops down on the couch in her extended stay hotel room.

With only a few bags of belongings, Gildersleeve and her roommate Jasmine Scott moved into the hotel. 

They lived together at the Ashton Apartments on Carmichael Road. But, not anymore.

"It's hard because it was the Thanksgiving holiday and we were with our family and we came back to nothing," says Scott.

The girls were out of town when they learned their home was in flames. A friend called them.

They found out their apartment was next to the one where the fire began around three o'clock Sunday morning.

Investigators say unattended food was to blame.

"It looks like it came from theirs and came straight to Jasmine's room and just came all through our apartment and on to the next one," says Gildersleeve.

In the blink of an eye roughly 30 people lost virtually everything they own. And while they'll tell you it's difficult having nothing to their name, for some, it's the least of their worries.

"Just blessed to be here, that's the main thing," says victim Daquan Roney.

"We do have life. And ya know, material things can be replaced. Shoes, clothes, everything," says Scott.

The girls say despite the loss, they gained an even greater friendship--admitting even good things can come from the bad.

"We were close then, but now we're closer than close," says Gildersleeve.

All displaced residents now have temporary places to stay and are beginning the search for permanent new homes.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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