29 people without a home after an apartment fire in Slemp

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:10 PM EDT
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SLEMP, Ky. (WYMT) - On Saturday, the unimaginable happened as Harold and Debbie Shepherd received a call that the apartment complex their family had owned for approximately 50 years was on fire. However, they said despite the loss it was a blessing because no one was hurt.

“That’s my main concern right there. I don’t care if I never build nothing back. As long as I can lay down in there and go to sleep knowing nobody was hurt. That’s all I needed,” said Harold Shepherd.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

29 people who said they are blessed to be alive were overcome with emotion as they stood outside and watched their homes burn and destroy everything inside.

“Nobody got nothing at all. By the time we got everybody out the fire department said no body go back in the building. It was done. We couldn’t get nothing out,” said Katie Daniels and Jessica Reynolds who lived in the apartment building.

They said they are now living in a trailer with 21 people, and they never dreamed their kids would not have a home just a few days into their summer break.

“It affected them just like it did us. I mean my little two-year-old is running around saying mommy I lost everything,” they said. “My baby one the five-year-old she’s taken it harder than any of them.”

They said their main needs as of now are clothes, shoes and food but they are beyond thankful for the people in their little community who have come together to help.

“We’d just like to thank our little community for coming together the way they did. I mean it means a lot. It does,” the two said.

The Shepherds added that they are going to miss having everyone around.

“I mean you get to know them people. They’re just like family to. I hope they can find a place and make the best of it,” the Shepherds said.

The families said they are all working to try to make the best of their tragic situation.

“It’s rough but we all have each other,” said Jessica Reynolds.

The Appalachian Woodboogers Jeep Club has planned a fundraiser for June 24th. Organizer Nora Hall said it will be at Leatherwood Elementary School and all proceeds will go to the 29 people impacted by the fire.