At least 30 people displaced after fire tears through apartment building

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — At least 30 people are displaced after a massive fire tore through an apartment building on Buford Highway. The blaze shut down the major road in both directions for hours Wednesday afternoon as crews battled thick smoke and flames. All lanes have since reopened.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said. Two residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

The two-alarm blaze broke out Wednesday afternoon at the Esquire Apartments in the 3100 block of Buford Highway in DeKalb County, according to Capt. Dion Bentley, a spokesman for DeKalb County Fire Rescue. Firefighters have since contained the flames, according to officials.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot was the first reporter on the scene Wednesday around 2:30 p.m.when the smoke was still so thick it billowed across the road.

Firefighters were able to search every apartment but one, but neighbors believe that unit was vacant. Firefighters plan to go back in once hot spots have cooled off and make sure there are no victims.

Red Cross disaster responders are helping at least seven families who were forced out of their homes.

One resident told Elliot he saw flames in the building next to his and realized something was wrong when he saw neighbors running for their lives.

Angel Mayren said he never got any warning the building was burning.

"I just see people running and people are around screaming," Mayren said. "I got friends there. They still live there but I don't know where they are right now. So I hope they are good."

NewsChopper 2 was over the scene Wednesday afternoon as three DeKalb Fire Rescue aerial units poured water onto flames.

Parts of Buford Highway were closed for hours as firefighters snuffed out hot spots and started to investigate. It's unclear what caused the blaze.

Large Apartment Fire off Buford Highway

A large apartment fire is blocking all lanes of Buford Highway in DeKalb County. https://2wsb.tv/2pYrZ6P

Posted by WSB-TV on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A huge apartment fire has Buford Highway north of N. Druid Hills shut down in both directions.

Posted by Richard Elliot on Wednesday, October 17, 2018