Crews rescue 5 people from DeKalb apartment fire

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — investigators are working to learn what sparked an apartment fire on Tuesday morning that left at least two dozen people displaced.

Several tenants at the Terra Creek apartments in Stone Mountain found themselves trapped and had to be rescued by firefighters, who arrived just after 4 a.m.. %



Channel 2 Action News saw residents wrapped in blankets and being assisted by the Red Cross as firefighters worked to determine what sent smoke and flames shooting from a first-floor apartment to the second floor.

The Red Cross said eight units at the complex at 4900 Central Drive were impacted. Twelve adults and 11 children were displaced.

“Ain’t no words to describe that. There’s no words to describe that at all— how close and how blessed I really am,” resident D’Shanta Russell said.

Investigators say the flames started in a first-floor unit, trapping a family of five in an upstairs unit.

“They were at the window waiting for us to get them down,” DeKalb Fire Assistant Chief Jeff Crum said.

Firefighters said at least five people were rescued, including three children. Two of the children were taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Channel 2’s Nicole Carr spoke with one woman who said she and her sister were able to get their children out of their second-floor apartment as soon as they smelled smoke.

"I had (woken) up before the fire started and when I woke up and got my kids and stuff out, next thing you know, I go back and try to grab me some shoes and the whole back was already on fire,” resident Toni Smith said.

Residents say it is time to look into renters insurance.

“No matter what it is, get your insurance. Never know things like this happen,” Russell said. “Worst-case scenario. But my lesson is learned about that.”

Red Cross workers are helping residents with their emergency needs for lodging, food, emotional support and other essentials.