Cause Still Unknown in Apartment Fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/14/05

Cause Still Unknown in Apartment Fire

A mother and her five-year-old son lost just about everything when a fire ripped through their home. But they still have each other.

Around 9pm last night, the fire broke out in their Dutch Town Villa apartment on Peachtree Drive near the Savannah Mall.

Fire investigators are still trying to figure out what went wrong. But whatever caused the fire, it erupted fast, and with fury, blasting out a window and spreading to the apartment up above. Furniture, clothes, and memories all went up in smoke and flames.

Latasha Dunbar and her son Tory had just finished eating dinner when their evening took a terrible turn. "I came outside to dump my trash and something told me to turn around and I saw the smoke," Latasha told us. "Fire coming from behind my television."

The five-year-old was in the bathtub when the fire broke out, but luckily the smoke detector was right outside the door. When he heard it, he got out and ran outside.

Neighbors got him away from the house and found him some clothes.

Terri Hayes called 911, then went to check on the family who lived on the second floor. "It's good that everybody helped out, you have to help your neighbors, even though you don't know them," she said.

Hayes didn't think about her own safety. When she saw the flames she just reacted. "That could have been anybody, that could have been my family, you know."

Hayes says that's what neighbors are for. And and while Latasha and Tory look at what's left of their home, they are still counting their blessings.

"It's a hurtful thing, but it can be replaced, your life can't," Latasha said.

The family is staying in a hotel until they can move into a new apartment. Luckily they do have insurance.

The fire department stopped by today to make sure everyone else in the apartment complex had smoke detectors.

Tory really knew what to do when his went off. He was out of the house before his mom could reach the front door.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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