LAWRENCE, Kan. — Three KU students are thankful to be alive after an early morning fire breaks out in their building.
The apartments are only a few blocks away from KU Memorial Stadium.
The people who live there got a rude awakening on Saturday morning, as smoke detectors warned them about a fire just outside of their apartment building on Indiana Avenue near West 10th Street.
The American Red Cross first alerted us to this story. Jane Blocher with the Red Cross told us about six KU students who needed financial assistance, after a fire left them with no place to live. We paid a visit to three of those students, and listened to stories of a Friday dinner party, and a Saturday morning that scared them to death.
They wanted dinner, and a fun Friday night.
Collin Dennis and his two roommates didn’t know Saturday morning would turn into a nightmare. The three KU students say they had grilled chicken for themselves and two guests on the deck outside their door. That was around 8 p.m. Friday. Twelve hours later, smoke alarms sounded and the three students awakened to find the side of their rental house on fire.
“Smoke detectors went off, and i didn’t think it was a fire at first,” Dennis said. “My girlfriend came running out and said there’s a fire on the deck. My stomach kind of turned.”
Dennis’ roommate Gabe Green isn’t exactly sure what caused the fire to break out. He and the others went to bed believing the coals in their grill were extinguished.
“Most important thing is no one got hurt,” Green said. “We’re all safe and sound. The house on the inside here is doing well.”
But the rest of the building isn’t. The rental house is owned by Rainbow Works, a property management firm in Douglas County. They rent the building as three separate apartments, one of which was badly damaged by the fire. None of the residents can stay in the building for now — including Dennis and his roommates — since the fire knocked out their electrical service.
“We feel awful,” Dennis said. “They have some damage the exterior of their home. We’re hoping everything can get cleaned up as quickly as possible.”
The three students we talked with say they’ll stay with friends until they can go back to their apartment. We contacted Rainbow Works on Saturday afternoon, but they haven’t returned my calls yet.