LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A Lawton family is living in a hotel after a fire at their apartment complex displaced them and seeking answers from the complex owners.
Last Thursday, Lonnie Littlejohn said he woke up to the smell of smoke in his family’s apartment.
He scrambled to wake up his wife and their child, rushing them out the door to safety.
“I went and checked the kitchen to see if there was fire anywhere,” he said. “I didn’t see nothing, but I started seeing a lot of smoke, so I opened the front door and then a lot of smoke just started coming in, so I went and grabbed my baby and woke her up and told her, ‘Get out the house, get out the house.’”
It turned out to be a fire in his neighbor apartment, but Littlejohn says it caused damage to his family’s apartment, making it unlivable.
His wife Lacey said she’s concerned it’s dangerous to even go inside.
“I tried to go into the apartment several times and get our stuff and every time I go in there I just can’t breathe,” she said. “I can’t even get anything. More than 30 minutes, I can’t be in there. I start throwing up. I get sick.”
Since the fire, Lonnie said they’ve reached out to office management numerous times to find a solution.
Initially, they were told by a previous manager they’d be placed in another unit. That quickly changed.
“We woke up the next day and contacted them about what they were going to do about the situation and the lady said there was nothing she could do to help us out,” he said. “It’s sad because we have a 3-year-old baby. You’re telling us you can’t help us out and we pay rent here.”
Lacey said they woke up this morning to a rent bill for May even though they’re living in a hotel right now.
“We have contacted Red Cross,” she said. “They have assisted us with some financial aid, also, but the apartment complex told us they will not help us. There’s nothing they can do for us, and we should’ve just had rental insurance.”
Lonnie said they just want the complex to show some compassion, and more than anything, it’s about the safety of his child.
7News reached out to the Candlewood Apartments for comment but they didn’t answer.
The Littlejohns say their next step is filing a lawsuit against the landlords.