‘I’ve never seen anything like it’: Louisville woman loses everything after apartment fire

Lisa Duvall says she lost everything she owns after a huge fire destroyed her apartment and car.
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 12:30 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisville woman said she lost everything she owns after a fire destroyed her apartment building.

Louisville Fire said almost 40 firefighters battled the fire on Douglass Boulevard at around 3 a.m. Friday.

Their efforts helped stop the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

The two people inside the building made it out, but Lisa Duvall was sent to the hospital with injuries while trying to escape the flames.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Duvall said. “I could not believe it.”

Less than 48 hours after her life changed forever, Duvall was still trying to figure out what went wrong.

She said she got home from work and was watching TV on her couch with her dog when she said she smelled plastic burning.

“Something told me to sit up and look over my shoulder to the living room area,” Duvall said. “And all I saw was the big bright red light and I thought it was the next-door neighbors, and I was like oh my God something is happening.”

Duvall said she then opened the door to her kitchen and was pushed back by a huge cloud of smoke. That’s when she realized that it was her home that was in jeopardy.

She then slammed the door and ran for her life while grabbing the things that meant the most to her.

“And the most important thing that came to my mind was of course my dog,” Duvall said. “But she was right there with me and I thought, I’m grabbing the picture of my family and I ran and I grabbed it out off my mantle and I ran.”

She said the family members in the picture had all passed away, and it was the only piece of them she had left.

In the process of escaping, however, Duvall said she fractured her hand. She said she’s in a lot of pain but doesn’t remember how she did it.

What she does know is that she feels lucky to be alive.

“If I wouldn’t have been in that front room at that time, if I would’ve been in that bedroom, if I would’ve... I wouldn’t have gotten out,” Duvall said. “I wouldn’t have gotten out.”

One of the biggest losses for Duvall though, was her car.

She said she worked extremely hard to buy the car, and it meant the world to her. However in a matter of minutes, it was severely damaged.

From the rubble, Duvall said she found a picture of her beloved parents unscathed, and it gave her a sign that she still has so much to live for.

“I think that’s what holds me up,” Duvall said. “He won’t let me fall. This is falling, but I’m here for a reason, and he’s keeping me going.”

Duvall said she walked out of the building with just her dog, her family picture and her nightgown, not knowing what to do next. She was comforted by her neighbors and best friend who are doing all they can to help her get by.

Support she feels has helped save her life.

If you’d like to help Lisa Duvall recover all that she lost, you can find her GoFundMe by clicking or tapping here.

Louisville Fire is handling the ongoing investigation.