Fire leaves apartment complex residents homeless

Posted at: 07/05/2013 11:51 AM
Updated at: 07/05/2013 7:37 PM
By: WNYT Staff / Subrina Dhammi

TROY - A two-week old baby is being credited with crying and waking up residents of a Troy apartment complex during an early morning fire at the Martin Luther King apartment complex.

That allowed them to escape.

The Red Cross is now helping families who live there.

At one point, a father could not find his son, fearing he was stuck inside as the flames spread throughout the building.

Walter Howard stared at the open gash in the building exposing his charred and destroyed apartment.

His 23-year-old son Jimmy Royal was nowhere to be found. Walter feared the worst.

“He won't answer his cell phone, that's not him,” he said.

Howard says his two-week-old granddaughter woke up when the fire started. She started crying, and the cries woke up everyone else.

“If it wasn't for the baby they all would have been dead, they all would have been dead upstairs sleeping,” he says.

The flames and smoke spread across the second floor, damaging each apartment in its wake at the Martin Luther King apartments in troy.

“I had to run and knock on people's doors 3:30 in the morning, get out, get out,” says Howard.

“Somebody was banging on my door saying you gotta get out of the building there's a fire,” said Darlena Kelly, another fire victim.

A K9 unit went in to check for any traces of accelerants.

And, the Red Cross came out Friday morning to find out how many people need help, while the people who live here are waiting to find out if they still have a home.

Kelly talked about the damage to her apartment. “I was just in there and the ceiling on the second floor right in front of my bedroom is on the floor,” she says.

Walter's son, Jimmy, was found. It turns out he was not in the building, and he's fine.

At this time, we don't know if this fire was accidental, or deliberately set.