Renters Worried About Future of Complex


We’ve been telling you about a string of fires happening in the Vann Park Apartments in Evansville. While they appear to be coincidental, it’s not making it any easier for families living there.

The damage to both fires is pretty visible. The first wasn’t a total loss and neither is the second, but that’s not what’s on some renter’s minds. Their concern is if this will happen again.

“You’re afraid to go to sleep at night because you’re afraid your building will be next,” Renter Suzanne Thurman said.

She’s only lived here three weeks. Little did Suzanne Thurman know, she’d be scared in her own home.

“I think one fire is really serious, but two within a few days something is going on, something dangerous and I’m really worried about the tenants here and what’s happening,” she said.

The first fire happened last Friday. Lead Evansville Fire Investigator Richard Howard says the fire originated in the living room couch in one of the front apartments in that unit. He says it remains under investigation.

“Here it’s just going to have that reputation that it’s the apartment community that always catches on fire,” Renter Cara Compton said.

Compton says she moved in just two weeks ago. She says she was at work when she heard there was a second fire. She says it happened across the street from her unit, just six days after the first.

“Just seeing the picture and location of it just kind of put a little worry and fear in my heart,” Compton said. 

“The smoke was just billowing out of the roof of the building over here,” Thurman said. “When my granddaughter called 911, we ran out and started yelling at people to get out of the building people came out with babies in their arms and it’s just terrifying.”

Howard says in the second fire, juveniles were playing with fire and ignited the bushes which then damaged the building.

“Luckily it wasn’t my building, but I have the safety blanket because I have renters insurance,” Compton said.

Both renters say they haven’t received any information from the complex.

“I feel as though, like,’Oh it’s just something that happened don’t worry, pay your rent.'”

With the fires less than a week apart, some renters say they don’t feel comfortable leaving their home or let alone being home. The thought of it happening again and this time to their unit, leaves them worried.

As of now, no arrests have been made in either fire.

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