Fire displaces 29 people, damages 20 units at Norcross apartment complex

The apartment building is in the 6800 block of Bebout Drive.
The apartment building is in the 6800 block of Bebout Drive.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Nearly 30 people, including five children, were displaced by a fire that caused damage to an entire building at a Norcross apartment complex Monday.

Firefighters were sent to a building at the Ashford 6860 apartment homes on Bebout Drive about 4:30 p.m. after a 911 caller said there were flames on the roof, department spokesman Donald Strother said. When crews arrived, smoke was showing in a building in the complex.

Fire crews deployed two attack hose lines and made their way into the breezeway of the building.

“The blaze quickly grew in size and intensity, creating hazardous working conditions for the interior crews so they backed out of the structure,” Strother said. The crew used an aerial ladder to continue trying to extinguish the blaze.

In the midst of the battle against the fire, the crews rapidly began losing water pressure from the hose, Strother said. Fire officials determined the loss of pressure was caused by a water main break at the top of the complex.

“The command decision was made to relay water from one of the fire engines to the ladder truck that was flowing water,” Strother said. “A second fire engine was strategically positioned to relay water to the first fire engine if and when that unit ran out of water to relay.”

Strother said a third fire engine went to a neighboring apartment complex and carried water from a hydrant there.

For nearly two hours, firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze until it was brought under control just before 6:30 p.m.

Investigators determined the fire was accidental, Strother said Wednesday. It originated in the wall between two ground floor apartments, possibly from an electrical source.

Strother said 20 units were impacted by the fire, but no one was injured. The American Red Cross helped 29 people from 12 families secure food and lodging after the fire, according to spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson.

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Channel 2's Audrey Washington reports.

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