150 people evacuated after massive fire at Buckhead apartment complex

ATLANTA — Firefighters say a massive, 3-alarm fire at a Buckhead apartment complex is now under control, but not before displacing dozens of people. The fire broke out before 1 p.m. at Avana on Main apartments across the street from the Lindbergh MARTA station.

Atlanta Fire Department told Channel 2′s Tom Regan that 150 people were evacuated. No one has been reported hurt or missing, but it was a terrifying experience for residents that Regan talked to.

Rafael Navarro described the panic as flames tore through the roof of his apartment building, prompting residents to run for their lives.

“We were sitting down and then all of a sudden I saw a lot of smoke, and I heard people screaming,” Navarro said. “Then everybody started running.”

Navarro said the fire didn’t start off near his apartment, but quickly moved closer.

Firefighters said the blaze broke out in an upstairs floor or on the roof of the luxury, four-story apartment building and quickly spread to multiple units.

“The fire spread quickly throughout the entire area, at least the attic portion of the building, and started to drop down into the apartments on the fourth floor,” Sgt. Cortez Stafford with Atlanta fire said. “We did have a report that someone was stuck inside and we went to that apartment and there was no one there. So we are thankful for that.”

NewsChopper 2 was over the scene, where several apartments looked severely damaged or destroyed. Firefighters said the building partially collapsed.

Firefighters think the the building could be a total loss. They’re still not sure what sparked the blaze.

“I knew it was going to be bad,” Navarro said. “I don’t think they’re going to let us back.”


Channel 2′s Audrey Washington talked to a witness who said it was a chaotic scene. Devin Simpson watched from across the courtyard as flames ripped through people’s homes.

“As far as people’s houses, I saw people out here crying because they watched all their possessions burn to pieces,” Simpson said. “They lost all of their possessions. It’s a very sad situation.”

Simpson said he never heard a fire alarm after the flames broke out.

“I wouldn’t have know if i didn’t hear the fire truck and hear the people looking up, talking, so yeah, I didn’t hear anything,” Simpson said.

Washington learned that because people are working from home, there were a number of people inside at the time, but it appears that everyone got out.

“Everyone is home right now because of COVID, so that’s what I was worried about,” Simpson said. “Most people were in their houses.”