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Neighbors, residents recount morning fire at South Sioux City Apartment Complex

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Apartment Fire in SSC, June 4
Arbors Apartment Fire 3
Arbors Apartment Fire 1
Arbors Apartment Fire 2

UPDATE:

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) -- No one was injured after an apartment building in South Sioux City Nebraska caught fire overnight. The fire started just after 2:30 Thursday morning.

It happened at The Arbors which is located on 17th street in South Sioux. Dozens of people lost everything in the fire.

"I seen, it was like the inferno," said Cynthia Renkel.

Fire seen from miles away, engulfing this apartment building.

"What woke me up was a loud bang," said Salvador Cedillo. "I thought for a second it might be thunder. Two minutes later, I heard people screaming I look out the window and I see a balcony in flames at an apartment across from me."

Dozens of people evacuated from this building and others in the complex
Fire officials said they believe the fire started on the 3rd floor balcony.

"The fire broke through the attic causing the entire structure to be engulfed in flame," said Jay Mathis, South Sioux City, Nebraska Fire Captain.

It's a moment many like Cedillo and April Vasquez said, they'll never forget.

"I get out of the building and I look up and the roof is just, flames are just so high and then I could feel so much heat and so we got away from the building," said Vasquez. "Everything, my whole apartment is gone. Everything I had is gone."

When daylight broke, the extent of the damage was evident. Vasquez walking out with only the clothes on her back. Everything else, including the pictures of her daughter…destroyed.

"Those pictures are, the only pictures I have of her are in there, were in there," said Vasquez. "It sucks. I just want to go to sleep and go to sleep and forget this day even happened. But, then when I wake up, I'm going to realize right away what happened."

While many, if not all of their belongings are gone, both Vasquez and Cedillo said they're thankful they and everyone else made it out alive.

"I'm glad everyone got out safely," said Cedillo. "Material comes and goes so hopefully we can rebuild and grow together in this and help each other out as a community."

Mathis said the 3rd floor eventually collapsed into the second floor, so extensive damage is expected.

None of the other apartment buildings were impacted, but some of the detached garages suffered some damage.

Mathis also said a gas leak was reported around 3:30 Thursday morning.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) --No one was injured after a fire broke out at the Arbors Apartment Complex in South Sioux City, NE around 3:00 Thursday morning.

Fire officials tell KTIV, they believe the fire started on the 3rd floor balcony of one of the buildings and spread to the attic. Because the fire was above the sprinkler system, it quickly spread the length of the building.

All residents of the 24 apartment were able to safely get out.

Officials said the 3rd floor eventually collapsed into the second floor, so extensive damage is expected. None of the other apartment buildings were impacted, but residents were evacuated as a precaution.

Just before 8:00 a.m. crews said they were still working on putting out a few hot spots that had flared up.

Fire officials said a gas leak was reported around 3:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


PREVIOUS:

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) -- Firefighters in South Sioux City, NE are on the scene of a fire at The Arbors Apartment complex on 17th Street.

It started around 3, Thursday morning.

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Mutual aid was called from area fire departments.

We have a crew on the scene are live during News 4 Today.

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Michaela Feldmann

Keith W. Bliven

KTIV News Director

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