Cooking fire forces dozens from Willows of Springdale apartments

Resident apologize, says she fell asleep

SPRINGDALE, Ohio -- A cooking fire forced dozens of people from their homes at the Willows of Springdale apartment complex early Saturday.

Kristen Shephard said she was going to cook some chicken on the stove, then fell asleep.

"I woke up and it was just fire all around me," Shephard said.

About 40 people fled their apartments. Four people were treated for smoke inhalation and other injuries that weren't life-threatening. One other person went to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire affected two buildings. Capt. Steve Sarver, of the Springdale Fire Department, said neither building is habitable, and one is a total loss.

The Red Cross helped fire victims at the scene.

Shephard apologized for what she called a "stupid mistake."

"I encourage people to just be careful," she said. "A lot of people have been displaced because of me and my actions. I just want to apologize."

Springdale Police Sgt. William Zeek said it's unlikely charges will be filed because the fire was accidental.

Firefighters from Springdale, Sharonville, West Chester and Woodlawn stayed at the complex for several hours to contain minor flare-ups.

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