Fox Lake Residents Talk About Fire

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -Investigators have confirmed a gas grill explosion is what sent 20 west Knox County apartments up in flames this weekend.

The nearly three dozen families who once lived here are now homeless.

The Red Cross has put them up at the Cedar Bluff Holiday Inn, but many re-visited the scene today, still in disbelief that everything they once owned is gone.

"Everybody lost everything. There's like families. Nobody has anything now. It's all gone." Katrina French still can't believe her eyes.

Her apartment turned to ashes.

"The bed I slept on every night, you know. I've been wearing these clothes for two days."

French plans on moving in with her parents to try to pick up the pieces.

"I'm 24 and yeah, I'm young, but I'm going to have to start over. Everything I have is gone."

Except for one thing.

"They were able to recover my grandmother's ring and she passed away and this means everything to me and I'm just glad I have it."

French holds onto her ring while the Taylor's hold onto their two young children.

"I think that's the only time I get emotional is when I think about the kids. We were here yesterday to see it and our little boy, he's autistic and he doesn't understand a whole lot, but he started crying."

Amanda Taylor says you can barely see their second floor apartment.

"We see stuff on the first floor that was in our apartment, so I'm guessing there's probably not much at all that's salvageable."

Unfortunately the Taylor's do not have renters insurance to help with the expenses.

"We were going to get it and just didn't, so now we know."

And neither does French, who says, "I didn't think about getting it cause you don't think about fires. I just thought of maybe theft, and it's a nice neighborhood."

State Farm Insurance Agent Dennis Maynard says far too many people don't think they'll ever need renters insurance until it's too late...

"It would give you full replacement costs on the items, like if you had a thousand dollar couch."

Now many Fox Lake residents left with nothing are learning the hard way.
Katrina French says, "Get renters insurance."

The same advice from the Taylors, "Get renters insurance, number one. It's not that much and now we think about how stupid it was that we didn't spend that extra little bit."

The Red Cross says the average couple is getting $350-$500 to help with groceries, clothing and personal items.

Those with children and medication are getting more.

The Red Cross is also giving everyone an extra $150 per person for bedding.

Agent Maynard could not give an average price for renters insurance because it varies from person to person, but he says it's generally very inexpensive.


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