KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Arson investigators have ruled the fire at a Knoxville apartment building that left 35 people looking for a place to live was accidental and started on a second floor balcony.
Worshipers at a nearby church on Walker Springs Road first spotted the flames. Firefighters say they were called in just before 9:30 and arrived on scene to find flames on the 2nd and 3rd balconies.
Nanette Redmon, was sleeping at the time of the fire, and was awoken by someone knocking on her door.
"I just came running out the front, Me too, It was the very end building that was totally engulfed," said Redmon. "It's terrible, sad, so sad. You don't know what you're going to do, where you're going to go."
The most heavily damaged units were contained to approximately half the building, with the others receiving mostly smoke and some water damage.
"They made an initial stop on those two balcony fires, but the fire had already gained access into the attic area. That's where most of the fire is into the attic across the building," said Knoxville Fire Captain D.J. Corcoran.
One firefighter was hurt during the fire. Corocoran says he was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Corcoran says the 35 people who lived in building 200 will not be able to live there again. Bell Walkers Crossing Apartments and the American Red Cross are working to find other places for them to stay.
After the fire was out, firefighters found a small kitten in one of the apartments. Firefighters returned it to the owner, and say she was hidden in the bathroom.
"She wouldn't be picked up the first time they tried, they left the door open to try to let her move around. Once they were able to pick her up and bring her to me," said Cody Biggs. "We can get everything else back. but as long as the cat and everyone that lived around us is OK that's all we were worried about."
Firefighters have turned over control of the building to the property owners and will be secured. Anyone who lives there should call the leasing office to find out how to get in to get personal belongings.
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