• Firefighters investigate cause of massive apartment complex fire in DeKalb

    By: Darryn Moore , Audrey Washington

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Dozens of residents have no place to call home on one of the coldest days of the year.

    A fire destroyed apartments on the 3000 block of East Clubhouse Circle in Decatur.  

    When Channel 2's Darryn Moore showed up at the Oak Tree Villas apartments Thursday morning, the flames ripped through the building from one end to the other.


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    "The whole building caught on fire," said Yolanda Davis, a resident in the apartment complex.

    Davis said she first smelled smoke and then banged on doors, telling everyone to get out.

    "Get whatever you can and get out of the building because it's about to go up in flames," Davis said. 

    Tears rolled down Davis's face as she wrestled with both gratitude and sadness. She was grateful she and her neighbors all survived the fire but devastated that she lost so much in the flames.

    "I'm just glad everyone is OK," Davis said.

    DeKalb County firefighters fought the blaze from the air and on the ground. 

    "The fire ran over the firefighters' head in the attic in the roof space so we pulled them out," said Capt. Eric Jackson of DeKalb County Fire and Rescue.  

    No one was hurt but many residents were forced to stand in the freezing cold while firefighters worked to find out what sparked the fire.

    After a couple of hours, the fire was eventually put out. The fire itself, however, is still under investigation. 

    Davis believes the fire started in the unit next door.

    “I seen smoke coming from the next apartment and I looked and the apartment was already totally engulfed,” Davis said.

    In all, nine apartments were damaged and 21 people were displaced. 

    The Red Cross is providing everyone displaced with food, clothes and temporary housing. 

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