Baldwinsville (WSYR-TV) -- Officials say an apartment fire that left eight families homeless overnight in Baldwinsville was started by “poorly discarded smoking material.”
On Tuesday, families were out at Town Square Apartments trying to salvage anything they could from the rubble.
The fire heavily damaged the apartment complex, but residents describe the community as one big family and they’re coming together to help those who lost nearly everything they owned.
Many would say Allan Brown is lucky to be alive. He narrowly escaped his burning apartment Monday night, before fire ripped through the building, destroying eight units.
“I was in my living room, which shared a wall with the apartment that burned and I smelled a little gas, didn't really think anything about it, and probably should of. Then a couple of cops came in banging on the door,” Brown said.
That’s when he and his neighbors got out as quick as they could, with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
“When I came out, there were already flames shooting up out the roof there and if you stood over there you could feel the heat from it,” Joyce Bird said.
Bird has lived in the complex for nearly a decade. But in just a matter of minutes she too almost lost everything she owned.
“You never expect it will be you...your place, but I was fortunate,” she said.
Bird is one of the lucky ones who will be able to move back into her apartment by the end of the week. She, along with the rest of the apartment community, is coming together to help those who weren’t as fortunate.
“This is a very homelike complex. Everybody knows everybody. It’s just like family here,” Property Manager Joyce Brown said.
The owner of the complex put up the displaced residents at a nearby hotel. Meanwhile, Joyce Brown says she hopes to start re-building the units soon, so that those families can move back in as quickly as possible.