LUBBOCK, Texas – One family has had to relocate after their apartment at River Oaks Villa in the 1300 block of 65th Street caught fire.
Two people died in the fire and one man was arrested and charged with arson, according to Lubbock Fire Rescue.
14-year-old Nia’Ann Young was at home with her three younger siblings while her parents and brother were at work.
She said she heard banging on her door and arguing but didn’t think anything of it since she’s accustomed to hearing those things in her complex.
“I start to smell smoke and so I go back up stairs and back into the bathroom and I see [smoke]. I go down stairs and wake up my little brother,” she said, “We look out our parents window and we [could] see the apartment building going up in flames around the corner from our house.”
Young said as her and her brother looked out of the window and was horrified to see first responders drag a body bag of a woman she said was a neighbor of theirs. Although she said she doesn’t remember the lady’s name, she said she’ll never forget her.
“She always said hi to me and her family,” she said, “We were like her friends here.”
Nia’Ann said she and her siblings stayed in the apartment until Lubbock Fire Rescue (LFR) knocked on her door to tell her that her family was looking for them.
“Even though I was really scared and stressed, I couldn’t show that to them because I’m an older sister [and] you can’t show that to them when you’re scared,” she said “So I put on my game face.”
Nia’Ann’s mother Georgina said she feared for her children when she heard her complex was on fire.
“It was the worst thirty minutes of my life, she said. I couldn’t leave. I didn’t leave work to go to my kids,” she said. “I wasn’t there when they needed me and so I’m really upset.”
LFR said power at the complex was shut off to avoid starting another fire. Residents in the complex were relocated with the help of the Red Cross.