Residents still cleaning up after fire at South Asheville apartment complex

Thick, black smoke poured out of the Hawthorne at Southside Apartments Wednesday evening as firefighters worked to put out the flames. (Image: Senior Firefighter David House)

Thick, black smoke poured out of the Hawthorne at Southside Apartments on Wednesday evening as firefighters worked to put out the flames.

Philip Wyett-Finney lives at the complex. but wasn't home when the fire started.

"It had been a very long day at work, and I just had to immediately turn to my boss and be like, 'I've heard what's been going on and I need to go,'" he recalled.

When he showed up on scene, he couldn't get to his place right away and knew it could be weeks before he could sleep there again.

"We were able to stay at a hotel furnished by the Red Cross that worked with our apartment complex," Wyett-Finney said.

Thursday was the first time since the fire that he had a chance to finally see the damage up close.

"It certainly looks like it's pretty extensive, though knowing that it didn't touch mine is somewhat of a relief," he added.

Looking at video of the flames, it's hard to believe no one was hurt.

Two cats did run away after being scared off by the heat and flames.

Several people were displaced, including Wyett-Finney and both of his roommates.

However, they're just thankful they're all together and all okay.

"Optimistic that things are gonna work out pretty well - just gotta tackle it," Wyett-Finney said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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