Fire Destroys Ashton Apartment Building in Montgomery, Displaces 30 Residents

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By Catalina Trivino

In Montgomery -- an overnight fire destroyed an apartment building, injuring three people and leaving 30 others without a home.

Residents spent most of this morning salvaging anything left from the fire -- 16 apartments destroyed; 30 people left with nothing.

Video shows flames ignited and consumed this apartment building. Montgomery Fire investigators say it took over an hour for more than 15 fire units to extinguish the flames. The fire ripped through building 1500 in Montgomery's Ashton Apartments on Carmichael Road around 3:00 a.m Sunday.  The flames have turned the apartments into a complete loss.

"The fire was so intense this thing was almost like 20, 25 feet above the apartment and it was like orange and like blazing. And most of the residents, we were standing outside and we didn't know if it was going to come crawl into the other apartments," Said Robert Lyles, who lives accross the street from where the fire occured.

But it did crawl into other apartments. The fire spread across 16 units. Investigators say the blaze ignited in a second floor kitchen.

"The cause of the fire has been determined as being food left unattended while cooking," Said Lt. Kenneth Jones from the Montgomery Fire Department. "And I want to take this opportunity to mention that the kitchen area is the most common room in a structure where fires start. So we want to encourage all of the public to use safe cooking habits."

Lt. Jones says two residents and one firefighter suffered minor injuries. Now, the 30 residents without their homes are trying their best to move forward.

"They've lost everything and my heart goes out to them because I can imagine how I would feel if one of the apartments had been mine," Said another resident, Janis Mann.

Thanks to the Red Cross, the 30 people who lost their belongings to the fire, are being temporarily housed in hotels.

The apartment building is working on moving those who lost their homes into different apartments in the neighborhood.

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