Family’s recovery continues months after deadly apartment fire

(KTUU)
Published: Jun. 14, 2017 at 8:39 PM AKDT
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The Abyo family was fast asleep when fire alarms went off in the early morning hours of February 15 at the Royal Suite Lodge Apartments.

“When my family was finally safe from the fire, then I ran and we knew it was close, we didn’t know how close it was,” said Andrew Abyo who lived in apartment 304 with his wife Melinda and four children.

A neighbor later told him how close the flames were to forcing them to jump from their third story window, as others had to do.

“She saw us running on the other side, it’s hard to talk about it,” said Abyo.

Fifteen people were injured as a result of the fire and three died: Teuaililo Nua, Vivian Hall, and Laura Kramer.

Abyo says his family now has a three bedroom apartment on the first floor of a building. He’s thankful his family survived and for the help of others.

“We couldn’t do it without the help of everybody, donations it’s just impossible because we went from losing everything and then we were at a hotel for a month,” said Abyo.

The Anchorage Police Department is investigating the fire as arson and homicide. On Wednesday, a spokesperson said it remains a very active case. The city of Anchorage has approved a permit for the demolition of the damaged apartment building.