1 found dead after fire at NW Atlanta apartment building

Fire crews arriving Thursday morning at the Villas of Hope Apartments on Holly Street found heavy fire on the back side of one building.

Fire crews arriving Thursday morning at the Villas of Hope Apartments on Holly Street found heavy fire on the back side of one building.

A man was found dead after crews put out a fire at a northwest Atlanta apartment building Thursday morning.

Fire crews initially believed all residents of an eight-unit building at the Villas of Hope Apartments had made it out safely. The body was found after a search.

“After the guys went in and did a very thorough search, they did in fact discover, we believe, one male in the bedroom of the apartment building, deceased,” Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford told AJC.com.

When crews arrived about 4:30 a.m. at the complex, located on Holly Street, they found heavy fire on the back side of the building, firefighter Jason Wozniak said. Flames were shooting out of a window.

They were able to contain the fire to one apartment building, but all eight units were damaged by smoke and water, he said. About 10 people were displaced by the blaze.

Stafford said the first engine arrived within three minutes of the 911 call, but they were not aware of any potential entrapment until they got on scene.

“There were reports of people and witnesses advising that there was possibly a person inside the home,” he said.

One person was found dead inside a burned unit at the Villas of Hope Apartments after a search. 

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The victim has not been identified. It has not been determined whether the fire started in his apartment or somewhere else, Stafford said. Fire investigators are still looking into the cause.

“We did have some fire flare back up when our investigators were in there, on the roof line, that has been taken care of,” he said. “Now our investigators can go on and do a thorough search and check of the apartment, just to make sure they can locate any evidence on scene.”

Atlanta police have also been notified.

The Villas of Hope Apartments are operated by HOPE Through Divine Intervention, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing for adults transitioning out of homelessness. The organization also assists individuals with special needs, like substance abuse and intellectual disabilities, that struggle with housing stability, according to its website.

“Whether it’s a regular apartment or some type of other assistance home, we are still taking this matter seriously and investigating,” Stafford said.

The American Red Cross of Georgia assisted eight displaced residents with obtaining essentials like lodging, food and clothing, spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson said.

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