Bellevue apartment fire victim shares her story; community helps displaced families

(Fox 17 News)

Neighbors are picking up the pieces on Tuesday after a large fire ripped through dozens of units at a Bellevue apartment complex.

Several midstate families lost everything in a massive fire Monday night at Creekwood Apartments. Nashville firefighters said an electrical wiring failure caused the fire that left more than 50 people without homes.

Kim King has lived at Creekwood for nearly five years. King said she doesn’t know if there’s anything she can salvage from her apartment because she can’t go back inside yet.

“I had to leave my dog behind,” King said. “I didn't have time to get him out.”

King said she saw flames in the unit above and made the first 911 call. The fire investigator checked in with her for more details.

“I said my dog's probably dead isn't he, and he hesitated," King said. "Then he said ‘let's pray he's not’.'

Their prayers were answered. King said her dog Chopper survived the fire.

“It's been a tearful day,” King said. “My insurance company has been really good advancing some money, and I'm in a motel right just waiting to hear.”

While King and dozens of other displaced families now wait for updates, Metro Councilmember Sheri Weiner said she’s amazed by their strength.

“They've decided that they can't change what happened,” Weiner said. “So they're just going to move forward and do what has to be done.”

In the meantime, donations have poured into TailGate Brewery in West Nashville. Edie Maney and her husband dropped off tons of clothes on Tuesday.

“These people need them for work and stuff so they're nice slacks and everything,” Maney said. “I had some sweaters and stuff. I'm going to go back and find some more.”

But it doesn’t stop there. While talking to King today, a couple of Good Samaritans, who wanted to remain anonymous, stopped by and handed King a $50 Visa gift card.

“It's just amazing,” King said. “It's what people are supposed to do for each other, and I hope to pass it on to someone else someday.”

How to help

Aaron Dye, Tailgate Brewery Taproom general manager, said donations ended at their 7300 Charlotte Pike location ended at 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Hands On Nashville will be at Tailgate Brewery Wednesday morning to help organize the goods. The group plans to start redistribution at 2 p.m. Wednesdsay. Those who have been displaced by the Creekwood fire need to bring either a Red Cross form or ID to verify they are in-need.

A GoFundMe account was also set up by Metro Councilwoman Sheri Weiner to help the fire victims.

"Bellevue always steps up to help our neighbors. Let’s stand together for the victims - moms, dads, sisters, brothers, children and parents - of the fire at Creekwood," the GoFundMe page says. Click here to donate.

Interested parties can follow a Creekwood fire relief group on Facebook.

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