22 people without homes after two-alarm blaze destroys Overland Park apartment building

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- There are 22 people in Overland Park looking for a place to stay after a two-alarm blaze destroyed their Overland Park apartment building Monday morning.

No one living at the Spring Hill Apartments was seriously injured. One juvenile went to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, but they are believed to be in good condition.

It all started around 4:30 a.m. It took crews more than an hour to get the fire under control.

One resident told FOX4 that he never heard any fire alarms, but knew to get out when he saw smoke coming through the vents of the apartment.

"It was just me and my grandma," resident Soye Olowu said. "Both got up. I was sleeping. The door swung open, she said, 'We've got to go. We've got to go. There's a fire.' I just see the smoke coming though the vents. So it was a really chaotic time. I just grabbed my stuff and we ran out and we saw the hectic situation going on."

The large fire has left many residents shook up.

“A lot of people are crying. My mom`s been crying all morning. I've been shaking since like 4:20 this morning. I`m still shaking,” said 16-year-old Samantha Randazzo, one of the victims displaced by the fire.

The cause is still under investigation.

“I have no idea what we`re going to do. I have no idea what we`re gonna do,” Randazzo said. “I have no idea how it started, and no one really does. But me and my mom were in the house, and we were dead asleep. My brother was up because he was finishing homework and didn’t realize it was 2 o'clock in the morning.”

Randazzo said her family has only lived at the apartment complex for about five months.

“But then he heard screaming coming from outside, so went in and woke my mom up. He's like, 'Mom I`m hearing a lot of screaming right now,'” Randazzo said.

They went outside to see what was happening.

“I went up to where my mom was and saw the flames, and I`m like, 'OK, we need to get away from the building,'” Randazzo said. “I had to drag my mom because she was frozen.”

Crews from Overland Park and Leawood were on the scene.

"They noticed heavy fire en route," Overland Park Fire Department spokesperson Jason Rhodes said. "So they had significant fire showing before they even got here so they immediately called for that second alarm obviously knowing this is an apartment complex and its the middle of the night. You have definitely a high probability of a lot of residents being home."

Rhodes said when crews arrived on the scene they went into both fire attack and search and rescue modes.

The roof collapsed into a few of the top floor apartments.

“The units are so old that everything was catching really fast. We have a lot of water damage,” Randazzo said. “The peeling on the ceiling is falling off. There`s a giant hole in the ceiling. You can see in it because the roof collapsed.”

One child went to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, but the child is expected to be OK.

“You actually see a fire like that in person, and honestly, your mind goes blank," Randazzo said. “Thank God my brother was awake because there are fire alarms in the units, but they did not go off.”

The Red Cross also responded to the scene to help the residents find a place to stay.

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