Family’s Christmas tree untouched by Dayton apartment fire

Published: Monday, December 24, 2018 @ 4:15 PM
Updated: Monday, December 24, 2018 @ 9:47 PM

Fire on Neal Avenue

A Christmas Eve fire sent one person to the hospital and displaced residents of three apartments.

When crews were dispatched around 4:20 p.m. to the 900 block of Neal Avenue in Dayton, fire was showing on the second floor, said District Chief Adam Landis of the Dayton Fire Department.

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Residents in one apartment only had a few minutes to get everyone out. News Center 7’s Gabrielle Enright talked with the family about their escape.

There were 11 people, including nine children, inside of Keke Clemmons’ apartment when flames started coming through her door. 

Clemmons, her friend and their children had only one way to escape: to jump out the second-story window.

“Everybody told us to run, we ran, jumped out the window. I was so brave,” said one little girl.

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As smoke filled the rest of the building, another mother needed help due to smoke inhalation and had to be taken to a local hospital.

“My mama’s a fighter. I know she will be OK,” said Cinnabar Conyers. “She’s having trouble breathing. They say the asthma attack was triggered by smoke.”

Clemmons’ place has a lot of smoke damage, but one thing is still intact – the family’s Christmas tree, along with the presents that are now safely in a neighbor’s apartment.

“We gonna open up presents when it’s Christmastime,” the kids said. 

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The family’s holiday spirit also remains intact despite the fire.

“Christmas dinner is not ruined. We had to jump out windows and out the building, but we’re good,” said Michelle Conyers.

The damage estimate of the fire, which remains under investigation, is around $5,000, Landis said.

“Crews were able to make a quick knock down on the fire and evacuate the occupants,” he said. They were able to “made a quick aggressive interior attack” before it spread.

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