Cobb County

At least 20 apartment units destroyed in massive fire, police say

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A massive fire at a Marietta apartment complex destroyed at least 20 units Saturday, police said.

Channel 2 Action News viewers started to send us photos of the thick plume of black smoke Saturday around 6 p.m.

Marietta police said the fire broke out in a building of The Gallery apartments on Franklin Gateway and gutted several units in a matter of minutes. Residents of around 20 units lost everything in the blaze, and a second building was damaged by heat.

Channel 2's Rikki Klaus was at the scene, where residents were forced out of their homes as the thick smoke enveloped the complex.

Police said it appears no one was hurt, though several residents had scares involving their pets.

Several dog owners weren't home at the time of the fire, but rushed back home to try to save their beloved pets.

Weverson Lino was enjoying the sunny day at Ponce City Market when a neighbor called him to tell him about the fire. Lino sped home and tried to run into his burning home to rescue Rocco, his beloved Boston terrier. The dog is so important to Lino that he has his pup's image tattooed on his hand.

"They tried to arrest me," Lino said. "I wasn't trying to be a hero, but that's my dog!"

Luckily, firefighters were able to rescue the beloved pooch. Lino said Rocco rode out the fire under the couch. Firefighters shared a picture with Klaus of an officer bringing Rocco out of the smoke.

"Everything you can replace but your family," Lino said. "You can't replace family."


Klaus also saw firefighters giving oxygen to a beagle that they pulled out of the blaze.

Though there were no injuries, the devastation to the building is unbelievable.

“There’s a lot of residents in this building," an official said. "They’re going to be looking for a new place to stay. This is going to be a time for the community to step up and help any way that they can.”

Neighbors were already helping each other by taking in victims for the night. Other neighbors also handed out sandwiches and fruit.

The American Red Cross has also stepped in to help displaced families.