Families Displaced After Fort Smith Apartment Fire

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A fire at a Fort Smith apartment complex forced families out of their homes Monday. The American Red Cross stepped in to help.

Authorities say the fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. at the Heritage Lane Apartments.

“It was just tons of smoke,” said Charley Hayer, a resident. “It looked like a bomb went off.”

Hayer had some smoke damage in his apartment. He watched as the flames quickly spread.

“We started knocking on doors,” said Hayer. “Some worked their way around here, make sure everybody's okay.”

Investigators believe a power strip malfunction caused the fire. One tenant told 5NEWS he complained about electrical problems to the landlord.

“I’ve had issues with the apartment,” said Joe Landrum, a fire victim. “I’ve tried to talk to the owners and I even stressed to the landlord that you know I’ve been having electrical issues.”

The American Red Cross says they will provide temporary housing for the families displaced by the fire. For now residents will stay in local hotels.

“I didn't know what to think you know cause this is my place,” said Landrum. “I don't have no where else to go.”

The owner told 5NEWS she plans to call the insurance company. Firefighters expect the damage to be in the thousands.

“It looked like the whole thing was gonna go up in flames, everything,” said Hayer.

Firefighters say no one was injured.