DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Fire officials say an explosion and collapse at a DeKalb County apartment building left at least four people hospitalized with their injuries.
Police said they were called to the Arrive Perimeter apartments in DeKalb County around 1:24 p.m., where they encountered heavy gas fumes. Police were able to start evacuating residents.
At some point, there was an explosion, which initially trapped multiple people inside. DeKalb Fire Department said two people who were unaccounted for are now safe.
Roads surrounding the building are closed. Dekalb Fire, Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas are still working to ensure that the location is safe for unaffected apartments.
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Of the people rescued, at least four had injuries severe enough to be taken to the hospital. There are reports that one person suffered a burn and another broke their leg.
Fire and rescue teams had to shore up the building so they could get into areas that were still unstable.
Multiple law enforcement and fire agencies assisted in the rescue effort. Officials said there were at least 75 firefighters at the location as well as technical rescue crews.
Atlanta Gas Light said natural gas services was cut off to the affected buildings, but there are no additional outages.
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Channel 2 Action News received the following statement from Atlanta Gas Light:
“This afternoon, Atlanta Gas Light joined first responders to assist in investigating an incident near the 2000 block of Asbury Square in Dunwoody. We immediately began coordinating an emergency response with local first responders. At present, natural gas has been turned off to the locations directly impacted by the incident, and there are no additional service outages. Atlanta Gas Light crews remain on site assisting first responders. The safety of our customers and employees is Atlanta Gas Light’s No. 1 value, and our thoughts remain with those impacted.”
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The blast was so powerful that it damaged surrounding buildings. NewsChopper 2 was over the scene, where there was a large crack in the roof and one side of the building with heavy damage.
“The entire building received some sort of damage,” firefighters said.
Eboni Thornton said she was in a moving truck outside the building when it felt like something fell on top of the vehicle. She said the whole vehicle shook. She was shocked at what she saw when she got out of the truck.
“The leasing office was collapsed on the left side, the double doors were blown out and I could hear a lady screaming her head off,” Thornton said.
Thornton said she saw a couple people limping and bleeding and being carried out of the rubble.
Dunwoody police say those who live in affected or nearby apartments will not be able to get back into their homes tonight. Everyone else who lives in the complex will be allowed back into their apartments once given the all clear from DeKalb Fire, Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light.
The American Red Cross is on the scene working with those who were displaced from their homes. They have set up a receiving area to provide snacks, water and emotional support to residents while the utilities to the building are cut off.
This is the second explosion at a Dunwoody apartment building in less than a year. Two people were injured in a fire and explosion at the Dunwoody Village apartments last December just before Christmas.
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