Fire Officials: Apartment Blaze Was Set Intentionally


By Brittany Bivins

Two Montgomery families are homeless after fire officials say some purposely set fire to their apartment building.

And while investigators look for clues, residents are trying to put the pieces of their homes and lives back together.

It happened at Ashton Apartments off of Carmichael Road around 3:00 Wednesday morning. Fire officials say two units were engulfed by flames when they arrived. At least one of them is a total loss.

Jamelia Lockhart has lived in her apartment for less than three months. She says nothing could have prepared her for what she saw coming home from work Wednesday morning.

"I saw all the lights and once I turned into the complex and saw all the commotion I was just hoping and praying that I wasn't me."

Investigators say someone broke down her door before dawn.

"That was not done by our firefighters, nor was it done by MPD personnel. There was also some reported items missing," said Lt. William Fulton with the Montgomery Fire Dept.

About six people were at home when the fire broke out, but everyone managed to escape. Still, knowing this fire was set intentionally makes this even more emotional for residents like Jamelia Lockhart.

"Just because somebody who wanted something that they didn't take the time to go and work hard on their own to get, so that's what hurts-so bad," she said.

The Red Cross is helping those displaced families with temporary shelter. Fire investigators are still trying to figure out exactly how the blaze began.

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