Residents detail devastating apartment fire in New Albany - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Residents detail devastating apartment fire in New Albany

One building is heavily damaged and the flames may have spread. (Source: Jordan Jackson) One building is heavily damaged and the flames may have spread. (Source: Jordan Jackson)
Our photographer captured this heavy damage at the apartment complex. (Source: Lee Holeman, WAVE 3 News) Our photographer captured this heavy damage at the apartment complex. (Source: Lee Holeman, WAVE 3 News)

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - A fire engulfed a New Albany apartment building, forcing 16 families out of their home. Now, the building is a complete loss.

It happened around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday while many were sleeping at the Kingsfield Apartments off of Green Valley Road. 

>>> WATCH: Katie's report here

The investigation is ongoing and fire officials said they have not determined a cause. All of the residents were able to get out safely, but most with the just the clothes on their back. 

“I was like 'oh my God, is this really happening?,' apartment resident Pablo Padro said. “Because I see it on TV, like what you are doing right now. I see other reporters interviewing people and I feel my heart go out to them and then finally it hits home. It hits home and we lost everything.”

Pablo and Rosa Padro just got back from visiting their grandson in the hospital Monday night when they were about ready to tuck in for the night. 

“A neighbor knocked on the door said there was a fire,” Rosa Padro said. “At first I thought it was a prank, but when I got out the flames were starting on this area over here.”

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Pablo Padro feared others were sleeping and ran back in. 

“We got new neighbors right next door to us and I banged on their door and yelled 'fire, fire,' and banged a few times,” Padro said. 

Just as he realized all were out safe, the fire engulfed the building. 

“All of the roof was already off," Padro said. "It spread that fast."

New Albany firefighters rushed to the scene. A slight breeze, which fueled the flames, was the first of their issues. 

“We did have problems getting water,” Major Matt Bowyer said. “We had a dry hydrant, the first company tried to hook up to - it was dry, so we had water problems initially.”

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The entire building will have to be rebuilt. 10 units sustained the most damage. Seniors with in home health care were staying in four of the apartments. 

“The ambulance came,” Pablo Padro said. “They were in the back over there and they were checking them out.”

As the Padros realized all of their belongings are gone, they shifted their focus to what can't be replaced. 

“At least we are alive,” Rosa Padro said. “We're alive and well and I'm happy everyone got out and we got to help.”

One cat is still unaccounted for and apartment managers are hopeful it will be found safe. The Salvation Army is assisting the families impacted and a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the victims. You can read more here.

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