Heavy fire breaks out in 3-story residential building in Sandy Springs

Heavy fire breaks out in 3-story residential building in Sandy Springs
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 3:38 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2023 at 10:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A structure fire on Marsh Trail Circle in Sandy Springs caused residents to evacuate the building.

According to Sandy Springs Police, the fire broke out in a 3-story residential building and the Fire Department was called out around 2:34 p.m. Officials confirmed to Atlanta News First that at least one cat is missing after “the unit was cleared.”

The Sandy Springs Fire Department battled the blaze and worked around the clock to get it under control.

“Our crews got on the scene, and they had a heavily involved fire on the second and third floor on the back side of the structure. The whole building is damaged. We’ve got 28 units that are involved here, as far as either water-damaged or fire damaged,” said Chief Keith Sanders. “Our personnel tried their best to knock the fire down, but the winds that we had at that time, helped move the fire, so we were unable to detain it to that one area,” Chief Sanders said. “The roof was burned off and we’ve completed the primary and secondary surveying trying to search trying to make sure we don’t have any other folks unaccounted for,” he said.

Daja Grandberry said she’s been living at the apartment complex for three to four months but found it up in flames.

“I was running errands. I left about an hour ago and I came home about 15- 20 minutes ago and I saw all the flames,” Grandberry said. “I was scared. I was shocked. I thought I was coming home to do what I would usually do. Watch tv and cook dinner, get ready for the night, but this is something crazy. This is something you don’t think you’d come home to,” she said.

Grandberry’s dog, Cash, was one of several animals inside. Atlanta News First was on the scene when crews brought him out.

“It was some relief, but now it’s like what do I do next,” Grandberry said.

“All the things that I have, like my diploma, and just things like that...sentimental, travel things that I’ve lost, but nothing that I can’t get back,” Grandberry said. “So, I’m just glad to have my dog and I’ll have to figure everything out in the next couple of weeks,” she said. “It’s just sad to see people work so hard for certain things and stuff like this happen, and now it’s like it’s all gone,” Grandberry added.

Yoel Sanchez said he was inside his unit when the fire occurred.

“I was laying on the couch watching TV and then I kind of hear sirens like trying to figure out what it is and when I looked out my window, you know, lots of flames, lots of smoke, and then that’s pretty much all I saw before I ran out,” Sanchez said. “Looked out the window, and I see the flames catching onto my balcony. I watched my balcony go in flames,” he said.

Sanchez said he lives on the back side of the building where the flames were.

“Roofs gone. Apartment gone. Everything’s gone. I have what I’m wearing right now and that’s just about it,” Sanchez said.

Chief Sanders said the initial call came out as a grill fire, but he said there’s no evidence at this time to show that. He said everything is still under investigation, and the cause of the fire and how it started, won’t be released until next week.

In the meantime, he’s sending an important Memorial Day message.

“It’s Memorial Day weekend. I encourage everyone to be safe. If you BBQ or cookout be safe. Follow the rules. If you’re in an apartment complex, you’re not supposed to have any type of open fire on your decks, so just be safe. I’m not saying that’s what happened here but it’s Memorial Day weekend,” Chief Sanders said.

“Investigators on the scene, they’ll begin their interview process today, and then they’ll begin their investigation. They’ll have to do a lot of debris removal and it’ll take some time to find out the cause of the fire,” Chief Sanders said.

Red Cross was on the scene assisting displaced individuals. Chief Sanders also said apartment management was speaking with all victims, to come up with a plan.

This is a developing story and Atlanta News First has a crew on the way.