Ten Homeless after Major Apartment Fire

2-19-06 – A fire at a Durant apartment building Sunday afternoon left ten people homeless. The fire started around noon and quickly spread out of control. Five apartments in the building – located in the 400 Block of W. Walnut Street were destroyed.

Fire officials say a malfunctioning heating unit may be to blame. An initial investigation shows that the fire started in an air conditioning and heating unit in one of the basement apartments. The resident told fire investigators he turned on the heater for the first time this winter on Sunday. Shortly after turning on the unit, smoke started pouring from the vent.

A passer-by helped two elderly people in an apartment get to safety. Eight others lived in four more units that were destroyed, but those residents were not home when the fire broke out.

No one was hurt. It took the entire Durant Fire Department, including off-duty crews, over an hour to get the blaze under control.

The Durant office of the American Red Cross is helping the residents find temporary shelter. Several of the families did not have insurance.

The Red Cross is taking donations for the families.

For more information, call 580-924-0255.