Tenants struggle with loss after apartment grease fire

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ATLANTA - Flames swept through a southwest Atlanta apartment building Friday night with residents inside.

The fire happened at about 6:30 p.m. at the Stone Park Presidential Apartments on North Camp Creek Parkway.

A resident told Channel 2’s Ashley Swann a grease fire is to blame. Late Friday, a city arson investigator confirmed the cause.

Larry Terell says he stepped away from some grease on the stove and returned to find his entire kitchen engulfed in smoke.

"The stove caught on fire, just burned up,” Terell said. “It was just everywhere. It really just scared me. I called for my neighbors and ran out the house."

Trevor Ellison told Swann he was one of those neighbors.

“All of a sudden someone was beating on the door saying get out, get out, get out and I saw flames,” Ellison said.

Ellison, his daughter and grandson were three residents in the building full of tenants, who looked in disbelief at what was left of their homes.

“It's a disaster,” said Ellison. “There's nothing to be saved. It's over."

"It's like, where do I go from here? My birth certificate's gone, Social Security card gone,” explained Brenkeda Ellison. “I don't know how to feel."

Fire crews searched the building unit by unit to make sure everyone got out OK. They say no one was injured, but one dog did die in the blaze, a loss owner Hasann Johnson struggled to put into words.

“That was my heart. That was like my child, you know?” Hasann Johnson told Swann. “He's gone. He's gone."

The Red Cross is now assisting the people who lived in the building to find temporary shelter. The arson investigator told Channel 2 Action News they're ruling the cause accidental.


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