Florence apartments catch fire after storms

Published: Nov. 30, 2016 at 4:07 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2016 at 7:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)
(Source: WAFF Staff)

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - Ivy Green at the Shoals Apartment Homes on Helton Drive caught fire following Tuesday night's storms.

No one was injured.

Witnesses say it was started by lightning.

Management says the F building was destroyed. It will be torn down and rebuilt.

Eight apartments were destroyed, displacing 12 residents.

Students said they just had a couple of minutes to grab what they could before their apartment went up in flames, now the community of the shoals is really coming together and really helping these fourteen students get back on their feet.

"They've raised a lot of money and given us a lot of material things... I actually got this shirt from somebody," said Senior Kendall Harbin.

Harbin said laziness paid off, he hadn't unpacked from Thanksgiving break so he still had a suitcase with a few personal items to take with him. "If we would have not got out in the next five minutes we would have been underneath it," Harbin explained. His roommate wasn't as lucky.

"It was freaky to watch all of your stuff burn," said Senior Clay Holmes.

They think lighting is the cause.

"I got shocked and it came through the outlet and I couldn't feel my arm for about thirty minutes," said Sophomore Karly Cruse.

Cruse didn't make it out of the building with any shoes on, but said UNA, the apartment complex and people of the shoals is bringing them meals, a place to stay and clothes. "Everyone has been so willing to help us," she added.

"We are just lucky to get out though," Harbin said.

The fire marshal office is still investigating whether or not it was lightening that struck the apartment building.

The University of Alabama office of student affairs is working with the campus bookstore provide them with study material before finals next week. The 14 students are getting more help from Caring for the Pride Assistant Fund and if you'd like to donate call (256) 765-4757.

READ MORE: Strong Tuesday night storms across the Valley

Copyright 2016 WAFF. All rights reserved.