Girl found dead, another person missing after East Point apartment fire

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A child is dead and one person is unaccounted for after a fire Wednesday afternoon at an East Point apartment complex, officials said.

Crews were dispatched to the Polaris at East Point apartments along Washington Road just after 3 p.m. after a resident called 911 about the blaze. By the time firefighters got to the scene a few minutes later, city spokeswoman Renita Shelton said heavy smoke was coming from one of the buildings and evacuations were underway.

After an aggressive attempt to extinguish the fire, firefighters were able to enter the building and begin searching for victims. That’s when Shelton said crews found the body of a young girl in an upstairs apartment.

“I regret to inform you that there has been a fatality. We have found the body of a little girl,” Shelton said. “There is also one other person that is unaccounted for, whom we believe is the mother.”

As of Friday morning, that victim remained missing.

Another girl, who was outside the building by the time crews arrived at the complex, was taken to a hospital for fire-related injuries, Shelton said. Officials did not provide the extent of her injuries. Both girls appeared to be under the age of 10, according to Shelton.

Seven of the eight apartments that went up in flames were occupied, causing at least seven families to be displaced, Shelton said. Officials said the building is a complete loss, with the roof having collapsed in. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

“The building is destroyed. The top level, the roof, is gone,” Shelton said.

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The complex, which was built in 1967, was formerly called Brookfield before being sold in July and renamed. It previously was named Thirty72 apartment.

In 2020, six serious crimes at the complex occurred, included a homicide, a rape and two aggravated assaults, according to police. In 2018, Brookfield began providing overnight security, fixed lighting and allowed two officers to live in the complex for free after a legal battle to convince the owners to make the apartments safer for residents, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. One year prior, conditions were so bad that the city said that not even police officers would go into the complex.