Families escape Marietta apartment fire

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MARIETTA, Ga. - Fire investigators are working to figure out what caused a Marietta apartment complex to catch fire Saturday morning.

Crews responded to a report of the blaze at the Marquise View Apartments on Franklin Road around 5 a.m. Saturday.

Crews say the flames started in one of the apartments on the lower level and quickly spread to nine others.

One family who lives in a top-floor apartment told Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach they awoke to smoke and flames and rushed to get out of their home. The family says 10 of them were inside the unit at the time. Some were able to make it out the front door, but others were forced to jump to safety from a second-story balcony.

After they escaped, the family says they rushed to help others, banging on doors to wake their neighbors. They say several people had to escape off their second-floor balconies, including toddlers tossed down to people below.

"The fire was so bad they had to bust the window out and they started throwing the children down, which thank God I was there to help catch the children and they made it out pretty safe. Everybody made it out safe and sound," said Terry Vereen, who lives in the apartment complex.

The family says four people went to the hospital with minor injuries caused by jumping from their balcony.

The fire eventually stopped spreading because of a firewall. One part of the top floor of the apartments is completely gone. People who live there say the blaze destroyed around 10 apartments in total.