UPDATE: Fire Rips Through Eight Apartments in Rio Grande, Ohio

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

UPDATE 11/14/12 @ 6:15 p.m.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- For Crystal Adkins, Wednesday was a day filled with mixed emotions, as she tried to make sense of the events that unfolded Tuesday night.

“It seemed like last night is just -- it's a dream -- like it never really happened,” Adkins said.

The fire that destroyed eight apartments started in her attic. She says she was upstairs when the heating unit caught fire.

“I was like, it smells like burnt barbeque up here,” Adkins said. “But I'd just fixed my son a meal that had pork barbeque and all that good stuff. So I thought it was nothing.”

Moments later, there was a fateful knock on the door. Adkins grabbed her 18-month-old son and ran outside.

“I looked up, and you could see the smoke just rolling off of it,” Adkins said. “And then you could all the sudden see the flames from the top of our apartment.”

The fire department was quick to the scene, and even the state fire marshal was surprised there wasn't more damage.

“We're not far away,” Rio Grande Fire Chief Bob Brandeberry said. “Doesn't take long to get here. Got good equipment and people who know how to use it. Got a lot of water.”

The building that caught fire was about to be renovated. The fire chief says it might even be able to be salvaged.

“Now they're just going to have to buy a little more roof and a lot more trusses,” Brandeberry said.

For Crystal and her young son Patrick, it's now a process of starting over -- without some of her most precious mementos.

“From the time I was pregnant, I had all of my ultrasound photos in a shoebox up in his room,” Adkins said. “His first pacifier. I had all of that in a little shoebox, and it's all gone.”

But she's optimistic about the future.

“You can still find things to be happy about,” Adkins said.



UPDATE 11/14/12 @ 2:15 p.m.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A fire that ripped through an apartment building in Rio Grande, Ohio started in an attic heating unit according to investigators.

The fire was reported at 7:11 p.m. Tuesday at the Valley View Apartments.

Four of the eight apartments in the building that caught fire had people living in them. Those people lost everything in the fire.

The Rio Grande Fire Chief Bob Brandeberry tells WSAZ.com that the fire started in the attic heating unit in Apartment 108.

A woman and her 18-month-old son lived in the apartment and were home when the fire started. Crystal Adkins tells WSAZ.com that she was upstairs and initially smelled something like “burnt barbecue,” but didn’t realize there was a fire until neighbors came knocking on her door, telling her to get out.

We’re told that all of the residents that were displaced by the fire were planning to move to other units in the complex since their building was going to be renovated soon.

Firefighters from multiple fire departments fought the blaze. They remained at the scene into early Wednesday morning.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office said they were surprised the building was still standing due to extent of the damage.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/13/12 @ 10:30 p.m.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Firefighters from multiple fire departments are on the scene Tuesday night of a fire that has ripped through a multi-unit apartment complex near the University of Rio Grande campus, the Gallia County Sheriff's Office tells WSAZ.com.

The fire was reported at 7:11 p.m. Tuesday at the Valley View Apartments -- located close to campus.

Route 325 is closed in both directions at that location.

Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter said four families have been displaced by the fire, but no one was hurt.

Eight units were on fire, but all of their occupants were accounted for. Some of the apartments in that unit were being renovated. Despite the proximity to campus, the apartments are not used for student housing. They're said to be government housing.

Firefighters from Rio Grande, Gallipolis, Madison-Jefferson, Centerville and Greenfield fire departments are fighting the blaze.

Just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, the building was still on fire. The cause and origin of the fire are unknown at this time.

Law enforcement officers at the scene include Rio Grande Police Chief Daniel Day and fellow officers, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Gallia County Sheriff's Office.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 11/13/12 @ 11 p.m.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Firefighters from multiple fire departments fought a blaze Tuesday night that ripped through a multi-unit apartment complex near the University of Rio Grande campus.

Firefighters remained at the scene into early Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported at 7:11 p.m. Tuesday at the Valley View Apartments -- located close to campus.

Route 325 was closed in both directions at that location.

Rio Grande Mayor Matt Easter said four families have been displaced by the fire, but no one was hurt.

Eight units were on fire, but all of their occupants were accounted for. Some of the apartments in that unit were being renovated. Despite the proximity to campus, the apartments are not used for student housing. They're said to be government housing.

Firefighters from Rio Grande, Gallipolis, Madison-Jefferson, Centerville and Greenfield fire departments fought the blaze.

Just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, the building was still on fire. The cause and origin of the fire are unknown at this time.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters were still busy putting out hotspots.

Law enforcement officers at the scene included Rio Grande Police Chief Daniel Day and fellow officers, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Gallia County Sheriff's Office.

Arrangements are being made to house some of the displaced families in dorms at the University of Rio Grande.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 179214181 - wsaz.com/a?a=179214181