LIVE: Watch 12pm news on WHNT News 19

UNA students still shocked after losing their apartment building Tuesday night

FLORENCE, Ala. - More than a dozen University of North Alabama students likely lost everything after fire swept through a Florence apartment complex Tuesday night.

“We are lucky we made it out alive and that it is not any worse than it already is,” stated Karly Kruse, a tenant in building F.

113016-ld-apartment-fire-follow-pkg2Hours later, the sights of Tuesday night’s flames are still horrifying for some. Flames towered above the roof-line more than thirty feet.

Florence firefighters were called to ivy green of the shoals apartments just after 10 Tuesday night.

“It was the most painful thing I have ever seen,” said Kruse. “Watching all of my belongings just get on fire, it’s just sad.”

Wednesday morning Kruse and other tenants returned to the scene of the fire to evaluate their situation. What they saw was heartbreaking.

Kruse said she was downstairs riding out the storms Tuesday night with neighbors when she believes the building was struck by lightning.

113016-karly-kruse“I got shocked up through the arm and somebody who was in the downstairs apartment next door also got shocked. But we really didn’t think much of it until about ten o’clock,” Kruse explained.

Three hours after being shocked, the building erupted in flames.

15 UNA students who live here are now without a place of their own. Their belongings are all but gone.

Fire inspectors are not ruling out the possibility of a lightning strike causing the fire. They must complete their investigation before making a final determination.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation.

All tenants were required to have renters insurance, so they hope that will help replace some of their belongings.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army of the Shoals have offered assistance to the students.