Local apartment complex fire displaces 14 students

by Social Media Coordinator Madi Winkler

A fire in the Ivy Green at the Shoals Apartment Homes in Florence late Nov. 29 left 14 UNA students displaced and others with collateral damage.

The fire started after a lightning strike during Tuesday night’s storms, according to the University’s Facebook page.

The fire affected only F Building, said Ivy Green employee Guy Smith.

Senior Kendall Harbin said he heard lightning strike the building before his neighbor came to his door to alert him and his roommate of the fire. 

Senior Clay Holmes lived in the same building.

“I collect a couple of things like my social  security card, my laptop, and then my phone, wallet and keys, and then head out,” Holmes said. 

Just before he left the building, a piece of the ceiling fell from the patio, Harbin said. 

Holmes said they made sure they notified the authorities and that everyone evacuated. 

“It seemed like five minutes after I had left, like got out of the building and away from it, it just went up,” he said. “It all happened really fast.”

“We just kind of watched our roof go up in flames,” said Holmes.

Students affected by the fire can contact the UNA Office of Student Affairs at 256-765-4223.

“Four of my fraternity brothers lost a huge part of their belongings,” said senior Jose Figueroa-Cifuentes in a Facebook post. “Some even lost what seems (like) everything. The thing that matters the most is everyone else in that complex made it out safe.”

If anyone would like to aid these students, they can donate to the Campus Food Pantry in the Student Engagement Center or Pride Pantry in the Center for Women’s Studies, which accepts women’s and men’s toiletries. Caring for the Pride emergency assistance fund through the Office of Advancement accepts monetary donations as well, said Vice President for Student Affairs David Shields in an email.

Other funding options are the Ivy Green Fire Fund which has raised $1,720 for anyone affected by the fire and Ivy Green Fire: Zach Armstrong, a fundraising effort for a UNA sophomore who “lost everything in the fire,” according to the GoFundMe.

In an unrelated incident Nov. 14, junior Alyssa Baldwin lost her home, two dogs and belongings in a fire. There is a GoFundMe account in her name as well.

Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Fleming contributed to this report.