Lafayette firefighters responded to 102 Van Buren Drive, Victory Village Apartments, to a reported apartment fire. The caller informed emergency dispatchers that the apartment building was on fire. When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke and flames were coming from the upstairs apartments. The apartment building consisted of eight apartments: four downstairs and four upstairs. Five of the eight units were occupied. Two of the three occupied apartments upstairs jumped from the second floor balcony due to the fire blocking the exit way. Five residents of the apartment building were transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained while escaping. The injuries consisted of minor burns, leg, ankles, and back injuries. The other occupants were able to escape through their doors.
Firefighters battled the early morning blaze for approximately twenty minutes before getting it under control. All eight apartments sustained heavy fire damage. The occupants stated that they were awakened by loud noises and smoke. When they attempted to exit their doors, it was blocked by fire; forcing them to escape through a bedroom window. The kids were lowered to the ground by the adults. The occupants were all displaced as a result. American Red Cross was on the scene assisting the occupants.
Fire investigators determined that the fire originated in the upstairs breezeway and that it was intentionally set. Investigators continue to interview occupants and witnesses to determine who may have been responsible for setting the fire. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured or killed by this heinous act.
If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 232-TIPS or the Lafayette Fire Department 291-8716.