Ponce de Leon Avenue at Highland Avenue reopens after large fire

The fire shut down Ponce de Leon Avenue in both directions as crews worked to knock it down.

Firefighters say it appears no one was inside the two-story building.

Firefighters shared video of the flames and smoke they saw when they arrived at the building in Midtown.

"Smoke was just coming all out of the roof of the house," said Sgt. Cortez Stafford with the Atlanta Fire Department.

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When the flames were under control, the concern turned to whether the vacant house would collapse.

"You don't want to throw someone in there with the risk of collapse injuring or killing one of our fire fighters," Stafford said.

Firefighters responded to the house at around 5:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

Policed blocked off the area near Highland Avenue for hours as firefighters doused the building with water and foam to prevent flare-ups.

Investigators are trying to determine a cause for the fire. Neighbors said the building has been vacant for years.

"It's been boarded up for some time, so I figured somebody might have been in there, started a fire," said neighbor Gordon Van Remmen.

Despite rain coming down, firefighters said the weather was an obstacle in keeping the fire away from nearby apartments and businesses.

"The wind did hurt us because, once again, it pushed the fire to the front of the home," said Stafford.

Firefighters say no one went inside to inspect the building because of the questionable structural integrity.

Neighbors hope the city does not let the burned-out building become an eyesore.

"They'll probably push that down. They're not gonna let that stay up there like that," said Muti Kifayatullah.

 

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