BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - An apartment complex on North Acadian Thruway went up in flames on Wednesday morning.
The East Inn by Daystar apartments are located right across the street from St. Mary Baptist Church, between Zion and Cain streets.
Several families were inside the two-story building when the fire began, sometime around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 22. Officials say 15 people were inside. None of them were injured.
A spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Fire Department says the fire was caused by the improper use of a space heater.
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Many of the residents also stepped in to ensure their neighbors’ safety by going door-to-door before leaving the building.
“I just wanted to make sure that all of my neighbors were out of there because I didn’t want nobody to die in that fire,” said Angela Dunaway.
“I just did what I felt was the right thing. I didn’t think about myself. I really just want nobody to be left in there and die,” said Carl Sullivan.
Some residents also voiced concerns about poor maintenance possibly contributing to the massive fire. However, a spokesperson with the Fire Prevention Bureau says the building was not in violation of any fire codes at the time of the blaze.
One WAFB viewer reached out to donate a pot of fresh-cooked red beans and rice and clothes to those affected.
Red Cross was on scene to assist residents; they helped relocate 17 people displaced by the fire. All were adults.
Those wishing to donate to the victims can drop off supplies at New Sunlight Baptist Church, located at 1777 America St. Donations will be taken Thursday, Jan. 23 and Friday, Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.