At 6:27 p.m. Friday. Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services received an alarm for a structure fire in at University Oaks multi-family apartment building at 2360 W. Broad West Athens.
According to ACCFES, units arrived at the scene at 5:30 p.m. and reported that Building M within and daw it was saw University Oaks Apartments and saw that it had a large volume of fire on the top floor and along much of the roofline. The conditions warranted that firefighters assume a defensive stance and attack this fire using two elevated water streams from aerial ladder trucks.
When firefighters were able to bring the majority of the blaze under control, crews then made entry into the interior of all apartments on both the first and second floors to check for potential victims and extinguish smaller fires. Fire Officers at the scene also worked with property management to establish a list of names of the residents that would be affected by the fire and might be potentially displaced. Representatives from the American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist with the short-term needs of those displaced.
The fire damaged 14 units, 12 of which were occupied. It is estimated that approximately 25 – 30 residents were displaced. Many accepted the assistance of the Red Cross, while some were able to stay with friends or relatives. No injuries were reported.
“We believe that the time of day and the fact that these apartments had in-date, and working smoke alarms contributed to early warning and time for escape”, says Battalion Chief Nate Moss. He continues, “Events like these are a sobering reminder to check dates on our own smoke alarms and to regularly test them.”
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.