An apartment fire that left 44 people without a home has been ruled accidental, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The blaze started about 5:15 p.m. Thursday when children were playing with fire at the Ashford Oaks Apartment Homes in the 6300 block of Oakley Road in Union City, investigators told the news station.
The unit where the fire started did not have a working smoke detector, but other homes did, Channel 2 reported.
“I smelled smoke,” resident Robert Brown said. “... And then I opened the door. ‘Woosh!’ Smoke comes in the house.”
Crews did not clear the scene until just after 9:40 p.m.,Union City fire Battalion Chief Dennis Moore told AJC.com Friday.
The displaced residents represent nine families, according to Red Cross spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson.
“Along with emotional support, a team of disaster volunteers provided assistance for their emergency needs such as lodging, clothing, food and personal items,” she said. “Caseworkers will continue to work with the families to help them get back on their feet and provide referrals for other recovery resources available to them in the community.”