Five apartment units damaged by fire

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By Desi Lapoole

 On Jan. 7 at approximately 5 p.m., DeKalb County Fire and Rescue received a call about an apartment fire at Sterling Chase Apartment Homes in Stone Mountain.

 Due to the intensity of the two-alarm fire, firefighters on the scene requested additional resources to help extinguish the flames. Approximately 40 firefighters responded to the fire, which destroyed five units in the apartment complex, four of which were occupied. Firewalls prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings in the apartment homes.

 The fire affected the four families living in the occupied units. Although it is protocol for ambulances to be dispatched to the scene, there were no injuries among those affected.

 According to DeKalb Fire and Rescue Captain Eric L. Jackson, the cause of the fire has been attributed to a fireplace. “When we come in the cold season, people sometimes have heating issues,” Jackson said. “They sometimes do unconventional and potentially dangerous things to warm up their homes.”

 In the wake of this fire, Jackson urges citizens to remember five key safety tips to keep themselves and their families safe:

 

  1. Check smoke alarms periodically, especially in apartment homes.
  2. Have a fire extinguisher in home in an accessible location.
  3. Have a fire escape plan ready in the event of a fire.
  4. If using a fireplace, make sure the flue, or opening, is open in order for smoke to leave the home. If the fireplace has not been used in a while (EHH), have it inspected.
  5. If in an apartment or renting a home, unless it is mandatory consider buying renter’s insurance.

 “Prioritize what’s important,” Jackson said as a reminder. “You could be doing everything right, but if your neighbor isn’t safe, especially in apartment homes, you’ll catch [fire] too.”

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