LONOKE, Ark. (KARK) — A Saturday morning fire at an apartment building killed one person, injured others and left nearly a dozen people without a home.
It happened in the heart of Lonoke at the 5th Street Apartments on the corner of Wright and E. 5th Street around 3:15 Saturday morning.
The Lonoke fire chief described the scene as a very fluid scene, so the exact number of people taken to the hospital with injuries may fluctuate over time. But as of Saturday evening, the fire chief said he believes around 3 people had to go to the hospital and paramedics treated some people including kids at the scene.
The Lonoke Police Chief confirmed at least 1 woman now is fighting her injuries at a burn unit and 1 adult, male died.
Sylvester Williams said, “We lost everything. It’s our second time around for me but it’s going to be ok. The Lord always in the blessing business.”
Investigators snapped photos while Sylvester Williams prays next to his melted cars just hours after escaping a fire that killed his neighbor.
“I kind of wish (that) I asked him his name now because you never know when you’re going to see someone for the last time,” Williams said.
Lonoke Fire said the call came in as a kitchen fire at the 5th Street Apartments. The County Fire Marshal will investigate the exact cause of the fire.
Williams said, “A positive attitude will take you a whole lot further than anything. So, I praise Him for my good and my bad.”
He leaned on his faith and humor for strength as we talked with him Saturday afternoon.
“I’m standing here with my sister’s Crocs on and her shirt. But I made it. I made it,” Williams told us as he smiled.
He said neighbors like himself jumped out of windows for their lives. He described saving his disabled grandson.
“We had to go back to the room that I drug him from to try to break the glass to get him out of the house,” the grandfather said.
We met Lloyd Nichols who managed the apartments.
Nichols said, “Thank God for the ones that did come out. I’m just overwhelmed.”
He talked with us as investigators combed through the scene.
“If I could bring back the one in number 4 I would. You just can’s,” Nichols said as emotion showed on his face.
he told us nearly a dozen other tenants lost everything but their lives.
“If anyone could donate something for these school kids ’cause they lost everything,” he said.
The American Red Cross went to the apartments to help the victims.
Williams said, “God be to glory for life.”
He gave thanks to the officers who helped pull his family to safety, the neighbor who woke him up and a third chance to start all over.
People can drop off donations at the Lonoke PD or the community center.
The Lonoke Police Department is located at 203 Front St. SW, Lonoke, Arkansas.
The community center is located at 1355 Front St. SW, Lonoke, Arkansas.
Police Chief Randy Mauk said people who want to donate Money will have to wait until Monday so they can set up a bank account for the victims.
Chief Mauk said the children impacted range from infant to 14-years-old.