Investigators Blame Surge Protector for Fayetteville Apartment Fire
Posted February 15, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — Investigators blame a surge protector for a Friday night apartment fire that left 34 Fayetteville people homeless.
The fire started around 7 p.m. at the Lake in the Pines apartment complex off Tamarack Road. Families gathered outside and watched as fire consumed 24 units.
Fire officials believe the fire started in Michol Brooks' third-floor apartment. She and her husband lost everything, including clothes and furniture they bought for the baby they are expecting.
"Everything's gone. Everything I had," she said. "We're going to do fine. We'll get back on our feet."
Victims are getting help from theAmerican Red Cross. A dozen case workers set up Saturday at the scene of the blaze. They offered vouchers to cover emergency needs and helped people find a place to stay.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross is in a crisis of its own. Friday's fire was the third major apartment fire in Fayetteville this year. The agency's disaster budget, meant to last all year, is already gone. It will continue to provide emergency assistance to fire victims, despite the budget problem.
The apartment complex is offering vacant units to victims who need a place to stay.