Fire ripped through a two-story apartment building in Rock Hill on Friday afternoon, displacing 15 adults, two children and one infant from their homes. No one was injured in the Yorktowne Village Apartments blaze which broke out around 3:30 p.m.
Flames engulfed the building’s attic and tore through an interior stairway leaving only the rafters.
The eight-unit apartment building has a common attic which contributed to the fire spreading quickly. High winds complicated the firefighters’ battle with the blaze, said Battalion Chief Mark Simmons. After about 20 minutes, Simmons said, the fire was mostly under control. The cause of the fire was unclear Friday evening.
Debbie Hall, one of the displaced residents, sat in the property management office on Friday, thankful that firefighters saved her two dogs. Her daughter and son-in-law arrived about an hour after the fire started.
“Everything’s lost,” Hall told her daughter. “But my dogs are OK.”
The pets were inside for almost an hour before Rock Hill firefighters carried Bella, a poodle-mix and Tucker, a red tick beagle, out of Hall’s apartment.
Friday evening, Hall was still waiting to see if her cat was OK. “You see this happen to other people,” she told a fire investigator. “You don’t ever think it will happen to you.”
Hall has lived at the apartments for eight years.
When the smoke has cleared and firefighters finish their investigation, Hall said she’ll be going back in to see what’s left. Her grandchild’s Christmas gifts were inside, she said.
The apartment manager called Hall while she was at work in Charlotte on Friday afternoon.
Her co-workers wouldn’t let her leave on her own, Hall said, because she was too upset to drive. A friend drove her to Rock Hill where she learned most of her apartment is a loss.
“But I’ve got my family and that’s all that matters,” Hall said.
The property manager made arrangements for residents to stay in a hotel for two nights. Four volunteers with the Red Cross were on hand, distributing cards for people to go buy food, clothing and medicine.
Three more volunteers were to arrive around 6 p.m. to give about 45 police officers and firefighters water and dinner. Neighbors in the apartment complex dropped off socks and heavy jackets for those who were displaced.
Want to help?
Red Cross volunteers will be at the Yorktowne Village Apartments clubhouse from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday to collect contributions from anyone wishing to help the families affected by the fire. The apartments are located at 2172 Ebinport Road in Rock Hill.
There are 15 adults and three children who need help, said Katharine Correll, executive director for the Upper Palmetto Red Cross. The displaced residents will need clothes, blankets and gift cards, she said. Christmas toys for the children will be needed, Correll said. Toys should be brought for a 5-year-old girl, an 11-year-old boy and a 2-month old boy. All donations, Correll said, will go directly to the families from the volunteers. To support other Red Cross programs, visit www.redcross.org/charitable-donations.