Residents Say Fire Started With Explosion

Updated:

ATLANTA - Residents of northwest Atlanta town homes said they heard an explosion before a fire destroyed several units on Monday morning.

Atlanta firefighters remained at the scene of the fire on Vesta Avenue, Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh reported.

Residents Hear Explosion Before Fire

"It's strange because it's not a gas house, it's all electric and the house just exploded," said resident Mastrie Gabriel.

David Chaffin told Kavanaugh he heard the blast and ran outside. "There was a big explosion, and I'm looking out my back window and I see a formation of fire," he said.

Firefighters told Kavanaugh the fire had already reached three units when they arrived.

Firefighters were being cautious before going inside the buildings. "Once it breaks the sheet rock and the fire wall, the building is more prone to collapse," said Atlanta Fire Capt. Scott Dove.

One family told Kavanaugh they were just days away from moving out. "We lost everything we had. We were in transition of moving and this just made us move even faster," said Rev. Horace Williams.

One of the townhomes that burned was a transitional home for people trying to move on from divorce, addiction or jail. The unit, owned by sunrise Missionary Baptist Church, had five people living in it, according to a Church pastor.

Firefighters had still not determined what caused the fire.