Fire officials finish onsite investigation into what caused apartment building to explode

DUNWOODY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that the DeKalb County Fire Department has finished its on-site investigation into what caused a Dunwoody apartment building to explode.

Now, lawyers for people planning to sue the complex said they will do their own investigation as residents get ready to move out.

Initially, attorneys worried that the DeKalb Fire Marshal would need to demolish part of the building to do the investigation.

“DeKalb fire did the work they needed to do, and don’t need to take building down yet, so we will be able to get our experts in,” attorney L. Chris Stewart said. “So, we want to salute the DeKalb Fire Department for finding the potential source of the issues.”

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The blast a week ago Sunday, apparently caused by a natural gas leak, injured four people, including a woman in a car parked in front of the building.

“I just felt like a wave hit me,” Sharelle Baker said. “After coming to, there was this lady in the car next to me, I remember her screaming. She’s trying to get out of her car. I’m trying to get out of mine.”

Residents complained of gas odors hours, even days, before the explosion.

“Why have these complaints been going on for so long?” Stewart asked.

Gas service remains off at the 400-unit complex until connections to appliances are inspected and deemed safe.

With no timeline on how long that may take, residents have been told to vacate the premises by the end of October.

“It’s very inconvenient not to have gas, and now having to move. I only moved here about six months ago, so it’s extremely inconvenient,” Shayleyah Grant said.

Grant said the apartment complex is paying moving expenses for those who relocate to another property owned by the same company. Residents’ rent will be the same.

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