Occupants who were forced by fire from an apartment building at Bedford Manor Apartments last week will begin picking up pieces of their lives this week.
"We can't go back into the apartments until Monday or Tuesday," Kaci Eden said.
Eden described the moments when the fire was discovered in her ground-floor unit at the Barksdale Lane complex last Monday.
"I was getting ready for work. The babysitter started cooking grease. I was unaware she was cooking. Her 3-year-old daughter ran into the bedroom and said, 'Mama, there's a fire.'"
The women took quick action.
"We grabbed the four kids, grabbed my phone and some diapers and my neighbor called 911," Eden said.
"We tried to use fire extinguishers but they were ineffective."
Shelbyville firefighters thought they had put out the grease fire during the initial response late Monday afternoon, even using an thermal imaging unit seeking heat in walls.
But the fire penetrated inside the walls to the second story and into the roof, fire investigators said.
The apartments sustained mostly smoke and water damage as the fire, largely invisible from outside the building except for smoke, was fought.
Families in the unit who didn't temporarily move in with friends and relatives received vouchers from the Red Cross for use at local motels, officials said.
Officials said 25 individuals from eight families were impacted. Bridget Brown, another resident of the complex, said the correct count is 30 persons from seven families.
Brown said the discrepancy is likely because one family, with a large number of children, occupied two units.
Eden plans to pick through the remains of her belongings this week.
"I'm not sure what is salvageable," Eden said. "I got a few mementos in a 5-minute walkthrough we were allowed."