CONWAY, Ark. — Several families are homeless after a fire damages their Conway apartment building along with most of their belongings.
Firefighters believe the flames started in the attic of the apartment complex off Harkrider Street, near downtown Conway. Crews rescued people who were still sleeping along with several pets.
Before the fire was even out, volunteers stepped in to help.
“Imagine waking up and you can’t go back in your house,” said Bobby Kelly, Public Information Officer for the city.
When the fire started Friday morning, Kelly initially went out for work but says his focus quickly shifted to the 17 adults and children who just lost their homes.
“Not being able to get the image of that little girl out of my head,” said Kelly.
He says that girl is one of the people he helped get out a few belongings in the 5 minutes firefighters allowed them back inside. While the flames were contained to the attic, firefighters say extensive water damage made the building structurally unsafe.
“She wanted her school clothes, and her dresser,” Kelly added. “I got up in there and it was just a Rubbermaid drawer thing. I was able to pick it up and carry it, all of her stuff.”
The apartment is known in Conway as a safe haven for families already feeling enough heat.
“When everybody looks back on the people affected, we’ll remember the good people that came to help,” Kelly added.
Both the Conway Ministry Center and Red Cross are helping the families find new homes.