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The Huntsville Fire & Rescue Department work to put out the fire that erupted at Colonial Grand at Edgewater apartments Oct. 24. (Record Photo)

Fire breaks out at local apartment complex

HUNTSVILLE — Several Huntsville firefighters tackled a fire Oct. 24 that destroyed a large portion of one of the buildings at Colonial Grand at Edgewater apartments.

Hordes of residents from the complex and nearby neighborhoods watched on the sidelines as flames and smoke engulfed what some residents said was part of building 10.

According to Public Information Officer Capt. Frank McKenzie, Huntsville Fire and Rescue received a call about the third-alarm fire at 1:17 p.m. Multiple-alarm fires indicate that a fire is severe and difficult to contain.

About a dozen fire engines and other vehicles belonging to police and HEMSI arrived at the scene. McKenzie said American Red Cross was also called to the scene to find out how many residents will be displaced and assist them in that process.

Firefighters work to extinguish the flames. (Record Photo)

“We did have two patients transported to the hospital,” McKenzie said. “The fire is pretty much under control at this time.”

There have been no deaths in the incident, and most residents were not home when the fire started.

A representative from MAA, the company that manages Colonial Grand at Edgewater, said they had no comment at this time about their procedures for situations like the fire, but they are focusing now on taking care of the residents affected.

One resident in the complex said she had heard about a problem breaking out in the past because of a fireplace that hadn’t been properly cleaned, and she said she strongly suspected that a similar problem caused this fire.

Lou Montoya, a resident of the adjacent Edgewater neighborhood, said he was asked to check on a cat in the complex and was amazed at how quickly the fire overtook the building.

“When I got here, this whole side (of the building)—it was fire up top and smoke on the bottom in, like, 10 minutes,” Montoya said. “It happened so fast. … From what we saw, everybody was out. But then again, it’s so crazy how fast it happened.”

During the incident, Montoya pointed out parts of the building where fire had reignited after firefighters had previously extinguished it.

A large portion of the building faced extensive damage and is “uninhabitable” for the time being, according to a HFR member.

A member of Huntsville Fire and Rescue at the scene said Huntsville Utilities confirmed that there are no gas appliances in the apartment complex. He said one resident had minor burns on her feet from fleeing her apartment. Both the HFR member and another resident said they had heard that someone had banged on residents’ doors in the building to warn them when they noticed the fire.

Colonial Grand at Edgewater is located at 1030 Grandview Blvd. off of Zierdt Road.

 

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