Family of victims mourn the loss of loved ones after fire

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Family members of the three victims that died in Monday’s apartment fire are trying to stay strong.

“At some point one of us has to be strong for everybody else,” says Summer Bills, a relative of two of the victims. “I’ll cry later and right now I just have to be here for family.”

She says her aunt Rhonda Gill and cousin Letitia Gill, both mother and daughter, were two of the victims.


“When people were coming out they did say they saw them trying to get out- Out of the window.”

She says they both lived on the third floor on the southeastern corner of the complex. The third victim died on the floor below them. We were told by displaced residents that she had difficulty getting around and someone who lived there tried to get her out.

Tony Harness, who also lost her home, was friends with her.

“I was woken. Somebody beat on my door this morning and said to get out,” she said. “When I went outside and looked up, the building was on fire.”

But some lives were saved. Apartment residents told us that a mother, in a desperate attempt to keep her two infant children safe, dropped them from the second floor safely into the arms of Tony Anthony, a resident.

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