A year ago today, tragedy hit more than a dozen people in the Cave Spring area of Roanoke County.
A fire started by a cigarette took over a Cedar Point Apartment building, leaving 18 people without a home. Some of the victims were forced to run out and leave everything behind and others drove up to see their belongings up in flames.
"A lot has changed. We've grown a lot, we've come to appreciate a lot more since the fire," said Margie Huffmyer, who lost about 80 percent of what she owned, but her cats made it out okay. "You're like you made it, you're a survivor. I don't know how they survived but they did, they were fighters."
A year later, Huffmyer still thinks about it.
"When you know for 30 years you've owned something and you go to look for it and you have to go, 'It was in the fire,' and you have to remember that's where it went," Huffmyer said.
There were twelve units in the building. People displaced by the fire moved to open units at Cedar Point, sister apartments in the area, or out of the area completely.
"We had to completely rebuild the third floor apartments. Then the first and second floors were gutted down to the studs," said Angela Bell, the Cedar Point community manager. "It's hard to believe it was a year ago that the fire happened, and it looks a lot better now than it did then. We're very excited to get people back in there."
The floor plans will stay the same but with some upgrades for the more-than-40-year-old building, including new cabinets, counter tops, flooring and fixtures.
"I feel blessed now, I really do," Huffmyer said. "I have so many people come to my rescue. Cherish every moment. The belongings were the least of your worries."
Bell says the apartment complex hopes to have everything move-in ready by May or June.