Mayor Lloyd Winnecke commended city and county emergency personnel for their swift response to a three-alarm fire Sunday afternoon at Grandview Towers that resulted in one death and the evacuation of all 170 apartments in the building.
Central Dispatch received the first report of a fire at Grandview Towers at 5:42 p.m. Sunday and immediately alerted emergency personnel. The first fire units arrived at 1000 Fulton Parkway at 5:46 p.m. and were quickly joined by units from the Evansville Police Department and a car from the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.
Within 30 minutes, buses from the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) and representatives from the American Red Cross were on the scene providing assistance and transporting residents to restrooms at the METS bus terminal and later to an emergency shelter at Red Cross headquarters.
“First, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Gwendolyn Hunt who did not survive the accidental fire,” Mayor Winnecke said. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our first responders and the American Red Cross for their quick response to blaze. Firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes, preventing the fire from causing greater damage, and the professionalism of all involved helped to bring calm to a chaotic situation.”
Bonnie Poag had just left her mother’s apartment on the 10th floor at Grandview Towers when she received a call about the fire. Poag returned to the apartments to find her mother outside. Poag called the Mayor’s Office Monday morning to thank firefighters and Evansville police for getting her mother out of the building safely and going back inside to retrieve her medications.
“I am very pleased with Evansville fire and police. They did an awesome job,” Poag said. She described the initial scene as “a madhouse” but said emergency responders were “so helpful and did an excellent job.”