Residents speak out after large fire damages Winston-Salem apartment complex

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Authorities continue to investigate what caused a fire at a Winston-Salem apartment complex, which left 14 children and 11 adults displaced.

“I just kept hearing a pow-pow noise," said Raynisha Hardy, a resident of the Foxwood Place Apartments, the scene of the fire. “I opened the door and I just seen, like, you could feel the heat coming toward you.”

Fire officials say it broke out around 9 p.m. Thursday and involved two floors of the apartment building.

“I just ran home," said Kilisha Blyther, a resident of one of the damaged apartments. "Dropped everything and ran out of work.”

Blyther tells FOX8 she lived in the apartment with her two children, a 7-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son who was in the care of her cousin.

“I see lots of people, and I see them putting out fire, but I don’t see my son," Blyther said. "So, I’m actually panicking at this point because I don’t know where my son is.”

Fire officials say there were no injuries reported. Due to the extent of the damage, they are yet to determine a cause.

“They said that he was cooking, and he fell asleep and forgot something on the stove," Blyther said, of a downstairs neighbor.

That has not been confirmed by investigators, however, if it is true this fire would be the latest in a long line of fires caused by unattended cooking; the number one cause of house fires not only within the city, but nationwide.

In the hope of combating the trend, fire officials visit neighborhoods within the city to notify residents of their stovetop fire suppression program. The program provides free StoveTop FireStops for qualified residents.

Qualifications include:

  • Elderly and low income, or handicapped
  • Cook regularly on stove top for most meals
  • Live in an area where kitchen fires are prominent
  • You will need a photo ID and an electric bill or water bill in the resident's name

To apply for a free device, contact the Fire Department’s Senior Community Educator at 773-7965.

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