BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Sixteen families are displaced after an apartment fire in Jefferson County late Friday night.
Matthew Carrier, Disaster Program Specials with the American Red Cross says the families were small, but they are assisting about 30 people total after the fire.
Carrier says it was 15 degrees when they arrived at The Verandas of Rocky Ridge. Many people were walking around dazed and confused as flames destroyed the building. The apartment club house became a warming center for residents and fire fighters.
Rock Ridge Fire Chief John Lord says a family says they believe the fire began in their unit when cigarette was let out on a deck.
Lord says the fire climbed an outside wall and went right into an attic. No one knew the attic was on fire until flames and smoke began creeping into an apartment.
One person slipped trying to get out of the building and another suffered smoke inhalation. Both were taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Lord says there’s likely nothing that can be salvaged, and the building is completely destroyed.
Of the 16 families, Lord says about four or five have renters insurance.
According to Red Cross, the apartment complex is putting the tenants affected in a new unit.
2014 WIAT-TV CBS42