Apartment fire leaves at least 15 homeless; benefit account established for family of 12

Monday, March 20, 2006

EUREKA SPRINGS -- At least 15 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed an apartment complex on the outskirts of Eureka Springs Monday night.

Included was the 12-member Tapia Mendez family. A benefit account has been set up for them at Community First Bank in Eureka Springs.

Nadeen Patton and her two children were also left homeless, a community member said.

Everyone had been evacuated from the Stadium Drive complex by a resident who discovered the fire and knocked on doors.

Eureka Springs firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 11 p.m. to find the structure completely engulfed, a firefighter said. They were assisted by Grassy Knob, Inspiration Point and Holiday Island fire departments.

Firefighters were on the scene throughout the night and into the next day to protect surrounding structures, he said.

The American Red Cross stepped in and those left homeless were transported by trolley to Inn of the Ozarks for the night, he reported.

He said the apartment complex originated as a house constructed some 50-60 years ago and expanded as additions to the original structure were completed. He said there were eight units occupied at the time of the blaze. The cause of the fire was undetermined and an investigation is underway.

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