Families displaced after fire at Memphis apartments

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two East Memphis apartment buildings went up in flames over the weekend. The Memphis Fire Department deemed the buildings a total loss, now a community is working to figure out what’s next.

A day after 8-units were severely burned at the Kirby Station Apartment complex in the 6700 block of Wild Ridge Circle, the air still smelled like smoke. Carl Zuck, a more than 10-year resident of the community, said his apartment ceilings caved in from major water damage.

On Monday, water still dripped from the fixings and puddles covered the floors. Despite the setback, Zuck remained positive. “We’re not as bad off as a lot of people in Florida,” he said. “You do what you can and find another place to live.”

Zuck lived in the apartment with his fiancé, but now they’re forced to make other plans. “We have a river property up in Arkansas. We’re going to start building a house up there.” However, that won’t happen for another year. Zuck said right now the couple is in a hotel; he wants to continue working in the area for the time being. “We’ll find a place here.”

The Memphis Fire Department has not released an official cause of the fire but told FOX13 the complex suffered over $500,000 in damages. “It’s devastating because these folks went from having a normal home like you and I woke up that Sunday morning, and then they have absolutely nothing,” said neighbor Julia Willhite, who’s lived in the community for several months. Willhite’s apartment did not suffer damages.

Most neighbors described the area as being close-knit. Residents said knowing their neighbors suffered such a great loss and are now being forced to relocate is very difficult to deal with. “It’s heartbreaking,” said neighbor April Kirkham. “I was very emotional last night when I actually saw it. Reality set in. It could be any one of us.”