DeKalb County

Massive fire breaks out at DeKalb County office complex

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A massive fire broke out at an office complex in DeKalb County on Thursday evening.

Firefighters spent hours battling intense flames at the Kensington Office Park on Memorial Drive. Well into Thursday evening, the building was still smouldering.

The DeKalb County fire captain said the building was evacuated before it caught fire and no injuries have been reported.

Three ladder companies responded to the fire. Officials said the building is two stories and has a metal roof, which is making it harder to put out the flames.

NewsChopper 2 was at the scene, where at one point, NewsChopper 2 reporter Jason Durden said it appeared a back part of the building has collapsed.


Channel 2's Kristen Holloway and Tyisha Fernandes were also on the ground, where DeKalb Fire and Rescue Capt. Deion Bentley said the fire started on the second floor. Bentley said it was too dangerous for firefighters to go inside the building by 6 p.m.

"As you can see, there are huge air conditioning units spread throughout the whole roof, and it was deemed unsafe because they started collapsing and coming through the roof," Bentley said.

Fernandes talked to a man whose yoga studio business was inside the building. He said there were a few different businesses that rent out space, including a women's shelter.

He said that the building is partially occupied and not every space is being used.

Channel 2's Justin Wilfon spoke with tenants who said they will not give up on their businesses. A couple who owns a recording studio told Wilfon they lost everything.

“It’s gone. We feel really bad about it. It hurts. It’s a lot of hard work,” Patrice Heard said.

“I seen it was my business. Like, three years of work, a half million going down the drain,” Wish Da Great said.

Wilfon watched as fire crews stayed on scene through the night Thursday, watching out for hot spots, while tenants held on to hope they can rebuild their businesses somewhere else.

The business will be “bigger and better. It’s going to be OK,” Heard said.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze.

Memorial Drive was closed between Covington Highway and Kensington Road, snarling traffic. The road has since reopened.

The fire was the second major blaze at the complex since 2014.

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