East Moline apartment fire displaces several families

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EAST MOLINE, Illinois — A fire broke out at Colonial House apartments right next to United Township High School, forcing residents out of the building.

East Moline Fire Chief Gary Robertson said the fire started in a kitchen on the third floor.  It was believed that something in the stove or in the oven that caused the fire.

Firefighters were called to the scene Sunday afternoon, February 26, 2017.  Even though it only took firefighters 20 to 25 minutes to get the fire under control, crews were on scene for multiple hours.

Evacuated residents stood at a safe distance and watched as firefighters sprayed down hot spots on the roof.

"Damaged, damaged, I don't know what I'm gonna do, I just take my purse and my key," said Pauline Tcheudji, apartment resident.

Right around 5 p.m. workers started boarding up broken windows and cleaning up debris around the property.

"Everything damaged, everything damaged I'm on the second floor but I know all my stuff's damaged," said Tcheudji.

The Red Cross showed up to assist the multiple families who were displaced. On Monday, a statement from the Red Cross said more than 30 residents were impacted by the fire.  The organization has provided the victims with a place to stay, meals, and emotional support.