Another fire at Park Jefferson Apartments - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Another fire at Park Jefferson Apartments


"Once I got out my car I was nearly in tears cause this long haul to get down here not knowing.  It was alarming, it was frightening," said Jacqueline Reed Wednesday afternoon.  She left work and rushed to get home after hearing there was a fire at her apartment complex, Park Jefferson, in South Bend.

"Didn't know if my unit was on fire," said Reed.  Fortunately for her, it wasn't.

Eight others did burn but luckily no residents were injured.  "We believe there were some people in the apartments everyone got out safe," said the Fire Department.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from miles.  The South Bend Fire Department said the fire started in a kitchen.

This is just the latest in a string of fires that have happened at Park Jefferson.  "It happened again and it just happened two years ago around this time," said Joe Roman.  He lives a block away from Park Jefferson and said he's seen several fires there since the 1970's.  "There's another fire here and I hate to say it I think the ownership should so something about it."

Even though he doesn't live in the apartment complex Roman said he always worries about the residents when there's a fire.

And Reed said she's now worried for her safety.  "I'm a little alarmed now."

After a fire at Park Jefferson in 2012 the complex tried to put people at ease and make the building safer.  They sent a letter to residents then saying they were supplying each unit with a fire extinguisher, interconnecting smoke alarms and detectors, and improving fire separation walls in the attics.

The Fire Department said this time around those improvements helped.  "In previous fires possibly this whole building would have gone up but those fire stops did contain it to those 8 apartments."

The weather was a factor when fighting the fire.  a TRANSPO bus was brought in to keep everyone warm.  They had to rotate firefighters in and out to keep them from getting hurt.     But one firefighter was still hurt after slipping on ice.


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