Fire destroys Walthill, NE apartment complex - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Fire destroys Walthill, NE apartment complex


WALTHILL, Neb. (KTIV) -- Investigators confirm that a fire that destroyed an apartment complex in Walthill, Nebraska was set by kids playing with matches. It left several families without a home.

What's left of the Appleton Apartment complex was still smoldering today as crews worked to clear debris off the roads. Authorities say the boys set the fire in a vacant building next to the apartments. It quickly spread and consumed both buildings.

More than 60 firefighters from nine departments battled the fire for more than five hours. Eventually, they determined the building was a total loss and decided to bring it down.

"It was a vacant structure that was not secured, so they had access to that building. And once kids get in there, kids are going to, if they find something to light on fire, paper, boxes, whatever it is," said Walthill fire chief Mark English.

No one was hurt, but about five families were evacuated. They have since been relocated with help from the Red Cross.

Residents at the Parkview Living Center, right behind the apartment building, were also evacuated for a time as a precaution because of the smoke and flames.

"It was kind of scary. This pole was on fire and the wire was on fire. And I thought we were going to start on fire, it was scary," said Carmela Scott.

The case is now in the Omaha Tribal Court, but at this time, there are no plans to file charges against the juveniles involved.

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