Three Families Displaced After Fire At Apartment Complex

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LINCOLN, Neb. Crews were called to the 3100 block of North Hill Road just after 10 p.m. Friday night to battle an apartment fire.

The fire started on the second floor and extended to the third and first floors when a legal rocket firework somehow landed inside of a closet on the deck of the apartment. The closet door was open.

Residents were evacuated and the families living in the complex were not home except for a 69-year old woman who was in the apartment on the third floor.

She was alone when a neighbor from an adjacent unit went over and directed her outside.

Now, three other families are beginning to figure out what they will do after losing their home. 10/11's Natalie Micale spoke with one of them: the Kasongo family.

Samuel Kasongo said,"It was so scary we all thought our baby brother was inside with our dad."

The Kasongo family was celebrating the fourth outside their home when the fire started but they saw everything that was going on.

And now they say they are just grateful for their lives.

Ëvenyenn Kasongo said,"Because everyone is alive and safe...with God's help. We are thankful."

And they aren't alone: two other families who lived in this building had their Fourth of July ruined as well.

Yohannes Thuk lives in the complex and said, "I don't know what's going on inside. I'm very frustrated."

Neighbors say that after watching it all play out they can't believe one little firework could change lives on a holiday weekend.

Jonathan Johnson lives across the street and he saw everything going on. "I'm really glad everyone made it out but it's just another reason to be safe on the Fourth," said Johnson.

As for the Kasongo family - they're staying with the American Red Cross but they only have three days before they have to find an alternative home.

Ëvenyenn Kasongo said she is unsure about what to do next."I don't know exactly... I want to talk to the manager to make sure what we do after these three days what would be the option, we don't know exactly. "

The Kasongo family moved here from Congo six years ago but they had only been living in that apartment for a month - and neighbors say they saw that many of theirboxes weren't even fully unpacked yet.