HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An apartment fire displaced six families in Hamilton County last weekend.
The blaze broke out around 6:30 p.m. Saturday on Midpines Drive in Sharonville.
“We could’ve been severely injured based on the time of day,” said Shayok Dutta, a member of one of the displaced families. “If it were at night we could’ve been injured or smoke inhalation at the very least if not worse.”
Dutta says the fire ignited as they were watching the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“During halftime, we started smelling smoke coming through our patio,” he recalled. “When we looked out our window, we saw darker smoke, and I immediately think, ‘This is a fire, this is real.’ So we get outside, we start yelling. But luckily I had my phone in my hand, so I called 911 as I was getting out.”
Families were forced to flee the burning building quickly, leaving everything behind. One resident had to jump from the second floor.
“Three of the residents lost everything from the fire,” John Mackey, Sharonville assistant fire chief, said. “The rest of them probably lost a bulk of it from water and smoke damage. So people that live in the apartment, some have insurance, some don’t, but to go through that and lose everything is pretty traumatic.”
Dutta says he lost around 95 percent of his belongings.
“Luckily some of it I have in storage, but 95 percent, a lot of good things,” he said. “All my clothes I lost, so now I have to buy everything new.”
That’s why the Sharonville Community Fund is helping out. The nonprofit organization set up an account at PNC Bank called “Sharonville Christmas Fund Fire Donation” to help residents with various needs they might have.
“It does happen occasionally where people lose everything,” said Mackey.
Still, even in the midst of tragedy, residents say everything that was lost was materialistic, and they’re just grateful to be alive.
“I feel optimistic,” Dutta said. “My main reason is the community support and everyone helping, such as the community fund and others, and I’ve been able to get through this and a lot of support from my work, from my city, from the community here. Everyone has been great.”
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