An eight-unit apartment building at Arbor Creek Apartments in Olde Town Conyers was damaged by fire Wednesday morning. Fire was showing through the roof when firefighters arrived, but they were able to contain the blaze and save the building. -- Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
CONYERS — Firefighters with Rockdale Fire and Rescue quickly extinguished a blaze that broke out around 9 a.m. Wednesday at Arbor Creek Apartments at 1120 Main St.
Fire Chief Dan Morgan said four engines, a ladder truck and a rescue squad responded to the fire that started in an upper floor apartment in an eight-unit building. Nineteen firefighters were called to the scene.
“(The fire) was through the roof by the time our units arrived on scene,” said Morgan. “We had crews that went inside a couple of the upstairs units and started putting water on it over in the attic and ceiling and actually cut it off.
“The crews inside made a fantastic stop and actually saved the building,” Morgan added.
Sharon Webb, public information officer for Fire and Rescue, reported that the fire originated in a closet that contained the electric furnace and electric water heater. The exact cause of the fire was undetermined at presstime.
The residents of the apartment were not at home at the time the fire broke out, Morgan said, but that a downstairs neighbor reported the fire.
“The person who called it in said he heard the smoke detector in the apartment upstairs going off,” Morgan said.
Morgan said there are eight apartment units in the building, in addition to a basement that houses maintenance for the apartment complex. Two apartments on the upper floor were heavily damaged, he said, while two units below sustained water damage. The other four units also sustained water and smoke damage. Residents of all eight of the units would likely be displaced at least for one night, Morgan said, adding that the Red Cross had been notified. No one was injured in the incident.
The apartments, which Morgan estimated are 30 to 35 years old, were apparently built without firewalls in the attic. It’s unlikely that attic firewalls were required at the time the apartments were built, Morgan said.
There were concerns about high winds Wednesday morning, but Morgan said the wind actually worked to firefighters’ advantage.
“The fire started at one end and the wind was blowing toward that end,” he said, which kept the fire from spreading over the rooftop.
Demarius Terrell, 22, who lives in a nearby apartment building, said he had just returned home from his job working as a monitor on a school bus when he was told by police to leave his apartment due to concern that the fire could spread to his building. Terrell said the residents of the apartment where the fire started had recently moved in and he hadn’t had a chance yet to meet them.