Channel 2?s Audrey Washington spoke with a grandmother who dropped her grandchildren from a balcony into the safety of a stranger?s arms.

Family jumps to safety, 2 rescued after condo fire displaces 60

Two men were rescued and a family was forced to jump from a balcony after a large fire broke out Wednesday at a South Fulton condominium complex.

Crews were called to the fire at the Camelot Condominiums off Old National Highway about 2:30 p.m., said Jack Butler, deputy chief of South Fulton’s fire department.

When firefighters arrived, two people were still trapped on the third floor. Crews were able to safely get them out of a window, and one man was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital’s burn unit with minor injuries, Butler said. Another man was treated at the scene and released.

Two people were rescued Wednesday afternoon after a fire broke out at a South Fulton apartment building.
Photo: City of South Fulton

A family of four had already jumped to safety with the help of their neighbors, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

Deena Mitchell told the news station that she, her pregnant daughter-in-law and her grandchildren escaped the blaze with only the clothes on their backs and a child’s stuffed animal.

“Devastated,” she said “We lost everything.”


 

Mitchell said her family had no choice but to jump because the flames were already too intense when neighbors began knocking on their door.

“I was screaming for help, and some guys came,” she said. “And I just started dropping my grandkids, and I just jumped over the balcony.”

Neighbor Jeffrey Goodwin heard the woman’s cries and came running. 

“I just started grabbing the babies and handing the babies down, and then I held onto the rail,” he said. “I told all the adults just to jump in my arms and don’t worry about it, I got y'all.”

The fire was eventually extinguished, but not before flames heavily damaged a dozen units and destroyed the building’s roof, displacing 60 residents. 

Allen Byron gets ready to push his truck away from the burned structure at Camelot.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

“These are older buildings, wood buildings, and once you get a fire, it really starts to spread aggressively,” Freddie Broome, chief of South Fulton’s fire department, told Channel 2.

While only half of the building’s units were damaged in the fire, power to the other 12 apartments had to be shut off, authorities said. 

The Camelot Club Condominums off Old National Highway was heavily damaged in a fire Wednesday.
Photo: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The displaced families are staying at nearby recreation centers until the Red Cross can make hotel accommodations, according to the news station. A spokeswoman for the organization said volunteers are helping with emotional support, food, clothing and replacement medications. 

“Red Cross caseworkers will continue to work with the families in the days and weeks ahead to help them get back on their feet,” Sherry Nicholson said.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated. 

— Staff writer Chelsea Prince contributed to this article. 

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