83
      Tuesday
      91 / 70
      Wednesday
      91 / 69
      Thursday
      92 / 69

      Renters deal with aftermath of apartment complex fire

      Fire officials say this apartment complex on Randall Drive will have to be torn down after fire damaged all eight units Thursday.

      Renters and their families spent Friday salvaging what they could from an apartment complex on Randall drive that suffered severe fire damage Thursday morning.

      The Red Cross is assisting a family of three and two others who were left homeless after the fire.

      Chief Jack Brade of the Cole County Regional West Fire District say the building, which contained eight units, is a total loss.

      Friday afternoon, Kenny Tucker spent the day climbing the charred stairs at his niece's apartment complex, looking for anything that could be removed. He niece rented an apartment that was at the corner of the building and was one of the least damaged.

      "We came out last night and grabbed stuff. Today, we came out with a trailer to try and grab the rest, anything else we could find that's salvagable," Tucker said.

      The damage inside his niece's apartment is severe. Insulation and rubble covers the floor, with smoke damage throughout the unit. The ceilings collapsed in several rooms. Tucker said even though the landlords might rebuild, it will be hard for his neice to do so.

      "For the most part, her furniture, all of her electronics, her TV and stuff are all waterlogged," Tucker said. "They aren't salvagable."

      Chief Brade said he believes the blaze started near a chair in a room on the bottom floor. He expects the fire to be ruled accidental, although they are still trying to determine the official cause.

      For residents at the complex, however, the question remains of what to do next.

      Tucker said his niece did not insure her belongings when she moved in, which means she'll have to start from scratch. "She didn't really think about that, that she should get renters insurance," Tucker said. "But then something like this happens and she has nothing. I think it's one of those things were it should be mandatory in all rental buildings."

      For residents at the complex, however, the question remains of what to do next.

      Tucker said his niece did not insure her belongings when she moved in, which means she'll have to start from scratch. "She didn't really think about that, that she should get renters insurance," Tucker said. "But then something like this happens and she has nothing. I think it's one of those things were it should be mandatory in all rental buildings."

      Several neighbors who rent in buildings next to the burnt out complex said they do not have renters insurance either. Hermena Roddy said the fire has changed her mind. "You get that feeling of "Oh, I've lived here this long, that's not going to happen.". You get too comfortable," Roddy said.

      "You need it. No matter what, you need it. So that's what I am going to go do Monday is get renters insurance."

      You can find more information about renters insurance on the Missouri Department of Insurance website.