COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – An overnight fire destroys a portion of a North Columbus apartment complex, displacing several people who lived there.
According to Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores, a fire broke out at The Palms apartment, located at 2700 Double Churches Rd. in North Columbus.
Fire crews arrived at the scene at 1:28 a.m. following a call for the fire. When units arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from building six, which houses 24 units.
In total, 12 units were affected by the fire, with six of those having heavy smoke, fire and water damage; six other units only had smoke damage.
There are no reports of injuries. There is also no indication on what caused the fire; the cause is currently under investigation.
"More than half of the apartment complex was not touched by fire. It stopped right there at the stairwell," said Lt. Kevin Alford of the Columbus Fire Department.
Firefighters were called to the blaze right before 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
"We saw the fire when we came out. It was smoke everywhere," said Erin Valentine, resident.
The fire is forcing some residents to rebuild their lives, including a mother of three who also takes care of her grandmother. Marjon Jordan is a well-known manager at the North Columbus McDonald's on Veterans Parkway. Co-workers jumped into action to help after they heard of the fire.
"She was supposed to be here today at work this morning. And she wasn't able to come because of everything. The fire burned downed everything in her house," said Whitney Robinson, employee of McDonald's.
The McDonalds staff set out a donation jar. It didn't take long for customers to start donating funds.
"It restores your faith in humanity," said Bianca Abrams, employee of McDonald's.
The staff are also collecting clothing items for Jordan, her two young girls, son and her grandmother.
"We feel like it's our family that going through it so want to do as much as we can to help them out," said Abrams
Some residents were able to retrieve items from their apartments.
"The two floors above us were torched and fell through. My living room had the third floor in it and it's just filled with water.
One of the fireman let us get in for a few seconds, we grabbed some stuff, cause my apartment was the only one that had anything that we can get something from," said Valentine.
Around noon on Sunday, firefighters were still watering down the building, saying it's still too hot to go inside. Firefighters wanted to make sure all the hotspots are out and make sure flare-ups don't happen.
The Palms Apartments had recently been remodeled. Another fire happened at the complex in 2011 when it was under the name Hamilton Station.
Fire officials say the cost of the estimated damage is more than $500,000.