‘We lost everything:’ Early morning fire sweeps through apartments

Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) - A fire early Monday morning devastated a Hoxie apartment complex.

Mayor Dennis Coggins, who owns Rose Garden Estates, said the fire destroyed seven units including his own.

“We might be able to save one,” he told Region 8 News just before 6:30 a.m. “We lost everything.”

Coggins said four cats perished in the fire.

“But everybody got out safely,” he said.

Police Chief Glen Smith said fire crews arrived on the scene around 3 a.m. and spent more than five hours fighting the flames.

Fires persisted throughout the morning and into the afternoon, as fire crews were called back around 1:30 p.m. to put out grass fires.

Smith said those who lived in the apartments lost everything.

“I talked to a couple of residents that said they barely got out,” he said. “They tried to grab as much clothes as they could, but they didn’t have time. They just had to go because the smoke was getting in every one of the buildings.”

Investigators do not yet know where or how the fire started.

People and organizations such as Coggins and Red Cross have already begun giving aid to the displaced families, as three houses have already been secured for temporary housing.

“We’re trying to find all the renters places to live because we don’t want them to leave Hoxie,” Coggins said. “I’ve been getting on with friends and calling them, and seeing if they’ve got houses.”

The mayor added that the housing project behind the apartment complex has offered to provide low-income housing to those affected by the fire.

“I thought that was real, real nice of them,” Coggins said.

Supplies for those affected are also being provided at the Hoxie Community Center.

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