May 28, 2011 12:22 AM by Chris Welty
At least eight families are out of their homes as of Friday night.
That's after a fire at an apartment complex in the five-thousand block of West Congress Street in Lafayette. Tenants that we spoke with are very shaken up, and they say they've never seen anything like this before and they are lucky to be alive.
"Was hoping it wasn't where we lived," said Ronald Smith. Smith like many of the tenants who live in Wimbledon Apartments were hoping and praying for the same thing. Many of them on their way home from work or running errands arrived home to see smoke billowing in the air, fire trucks lining the street, and flames destroying their home.
"we've got to start all over and buy everything again...it's a lot of stuff you know."
Witnesses say it was just a matter of minutes before the fire spread to the second set of apartments, destroying four more homes. Tyler Decesare was outside when he noticed smoke and immediately rushed over to help.
"My first instinct was to run over here and make sure that everyone was ok. I couldn't get inside, but I made sure that everyone that was outside was safe and not injured," said Decesare.
All of the tenants did make it out of their homes and are thankful that everyone is ok. "You don't expect something like this. Everything that was in there is material things and they can be replaced, but lives can't."
Fire fighters did stay on scene several more hours to make sure that nothing was smoldering and that the fire wouldn't re-ignite. Residents that we spoke with say it is bad enough that they lost everything, but some of the tenants also do not have renter's insurance.