Blaze tears through DeKalb condo complex

A fire destroyed several units at a DeKalb County condo complex Monday morning. (John Spink / john.spink@ajc.com)

Credit: John Spink

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A fire destroyed several units at a DeKalb County condo complex Monday morning. (John Spink / john.spink@ajc.com)

Credit: John Spink

Multiple apartments were gutted by a massive blaze Monday morning at a DeKalb County complex, officials said.

Crews were called to the Brannon Hill Condominiums just outside of Clarkston around 6:45 a.m. after multiple calls about a building on fire, DeKalb fire Capt. Jaeson Daniels said from the scene. On arrival, firefighters went into defensive mode to get the fire under control and prevent it from spreading to neighboring buildings, he said.

The blaze was primarily confined to the upper four apartments, but the four downstairs apartments were also severely damaged by the time the blaze was extinguished, Daniels said. Though the siding of the building next door was also damaged from the heat, crews were able to contain the fire to the one building, he added. Officials are unsure what caused the fire or where it began.

“It’s such extensive fire damage, it’s going to be hard for us to get in there and really determine what happened,” Daniels said.

Explore20 displaced by fire at DeKalb condo complex

Officials did not say if anyone was injured.

“There were two people actually living in the building, paying tenants, from what we understand. And there were also squatters as well inside the building,” Daniels said.

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Crews battled a blaze Monday at a DeKalb complex where they have been called out to several times over the years.

Credit: John Spink

Crews battled a blaze Monday at a DeKalb complex where they have been called out to several times over the years.

Credit: John Spink

caption arrowCaption
Crews battled a blaze Monday at a DeKalb complex where they have been called out to several times over the years.

Credit: John Spink

Credit: John Spink

The apartment complex is familiar to Daniels, who said crews have gone to the area for several incidents the past few years. Daniels said he hopes those using the space temporarily will opt for warming centers instead.

“As far as it being frustrating for the fire department operations, this is what we do, it’s kinda what we signed up for. Firefighting is just something that comes with the job,” he said. “But as far as a message to everybody, just to be safe, I know this is a rough time right now, especially with the weather and some people not having places to stay.”

ExploreCounty demolishing more than 50 dilapidated condo units

DeKalb began demolishing properties at Brannon Hill in 2017 after many of the buildings were left vacated and neglected, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. The complex deteriorated over the years due to fires and lack of repair.

“The deplorable conditions at Brannon Hill Condominiums constitute a public nuisance, which imperils the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of that neighborhood,” the county said in a statement.

Daniels said that since the building where Monday’s fire broke out is pretty much destroyed, it will likely be bulldozed, just like many other buildings in the condominium.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.