28 displaced, 2 arrested over Atlanta Apartment Complex fire

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Two people are in custody in connection with a fire that destroyed a residential building in Atlanta this weekend. An initial investigation concluded that the fire was caused by fireworks on the roof. The affected building is called the LaVista Walk Apartments refuge.

Police in custody Robert Stokes and Charnelle Gunn related to the fire at the site. They were booked into the Fulton County Jail on Saturday. Stokes and Gunn face first-degree criminal damage to property and reckless conduct charges, according to jail records.

Both were given a $20,000 surety bond for the criminal damage charge and a $10,000 surety bond for the reckless conduct charge. As of Tuesday, both appear to be still in police custody.

The aftermath of the Atlanta building fire​​​​

According to the Associated Press, emergency officials evacuated hundreds of people from the apartment complex on Friday (November 10) after 10:30 pm local time. Local firefighters were still battling hot spots as of Saturday. WSB-TV reports it took more than 80 firefighters to put out the flames.

A video and photo from the fire show several apartments that were affected on the top floor of the building. The places appear to have been completely destroyed – leaving exposed roofs, crumbling walls, and other damaged infrastructure.

Fox 5 Atlanta reports that the flames did not touch the 2000 block of the building, and that the 1000 block is “a total loss.”

Local authorities have not reported any deaths, but around 17 people received medical attention for smoke inhalation from the fire. One cat was reported dead.

In addition, at least 28 residents are receiving housing assistance from the Red Cross, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

See a clip of the damage below.

Regarding how the fire spread, Fire Chief Rod Smith told Fox 5 Atlanta that this incident was a “complete anomaly.”

“So, a normal fire will burn above and where your alarms will be as well as the sprinkler system. However, this one started in the ceiling. So, this was a complete anomaly. And so, these systems would not be detected until later to the alarm, which is very late if it starts in the roof, because it is usually connected through the roof,” said the CEO Rod.

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