Residents in Moline apartment blaze look for answers

Residents in Moline apartment blaze look for answers

Updated: 5 days, 4 hours, 18 minutes, 27 seconds ago

Logan Latimer was on his way home Wednesday morning from Two River YMCA when he saw Moline police and fire vehicles roaring down 53rd Street.

Almost instantly, the 20-year-old welding student learned the lights and sirens were headed to the Timber Knoll Apartments, where the building next to the one where he lives with his mother was on fire.

“I called my mom and, at first, she thought the ambulances and stuff were for one of the older couples who live near us,” Latimer said. “As I got closer on 53rd, the road was blocked and my mom said there were firetrucks everywhere.

“Then she saw the building next to us and she told me there were flames coming out of the building. I parked and grabbed my camera, because I’m really interested in photojournalism.”

Fifteen of the 16 units in the building north of John Deere Road were occupied at the time of the fire, said Deputy Fire Chief Kris Johnson. At least five people were treated for smoke inhalation, including two who were transported to the hospital, he said.

Julie, a mother of two who declined to share her last name, said she lives on the lower level of the unit that burned. She was at work and her children were out of the building when the fire started. She said she hoped it was not intentionally started.

“I’ve lived here for, wow, going on 10 years,” Julie said. “There are a couple of older people who live here, and I hope they are OK.”

While some tenants boarded a MetroLINK bus that was sent to serve as a warming shelter, Julie said she was busy looking for answers about the fire.

“There are a lot of police officers around here, and I want to speak with them and find out what is going on,” she said.

Both the Moline police and fire departments are investigating the cause of the blaze, which started in a building on the southeast corner of the Timber Knoll complex.

An official from the American Red Cross said an early estimate suggests 11 people will require the agency's assistance. Multiple agencies responded to the scene, where early reports indicated multiple people were trapped. 

Johnson said the primary fire was under control shortly before 11 a.m. Some tenants were evacuated and others were rescued from balconies.

Moline firefighters were dispatched to the nearby Homewood Manor Apartments last week, where 11 people were temporarily displaced by fire.

Photos: Fire damages Timber Knoll Apartments in Moline

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