ATHENS — Athens-Clarke County Fire & Emergency Services received an alarm for a structure fire at 109 Westchester Circle just after 7:15 a.m. Monday. A substantial column of smoke could be seen by fire units responding to the blaze.
When the first units arrived at the scene, they reported heavy fire coming from the upper apartments in the center of building 109. The fire was already spreading through the attic at the time of arrival.
Firefighters made preparations to attack the fire from the exterior of the structure both with hand lines and by use of 2 aerial ladder trucks.
Athens-Clarke County Police assisted in making sure residents were notified about the fire and were safely evacuated from the building. A Georgia Power technician assisted in shutting power off to the structure.
National EMS responded to assist if needed, but thankfully no firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.
After the main body of the fire was extinguished, firefighters entered the individual apartments to extinguish hot spots and to search for hidden fires.
The American Red Cross responded to the scene to care for the immediate needs of residents that suffered property loss and were displaced because of smoke, fire, and water damage. It is estimated that at least a dozen residents have been displaced due to the fire.
Fire Chief Jeff Scarbrough reminds residents of the importance of having working smoke alarms and having a predetermined escape plan in the event of an emergency.
“Our thoughts are with those that suffered property loss as a result of this fire. Thankfully no injuries were reported,” said Scarbrough. “Our people worked extremely hard to make a good stop on this fire. Otherwise, the damage could have been much worse.”
The investigation into the cause and origin of this fire is ongoing.
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