Athens apartment fire displaces tenants from home - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens apartment fire displaces tenants from home

Posted: Updated:
Officials said the Wednesday morning fire was accidental. Officials said the Wednesday morning fire was accidental.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Huntsville school board member named in civil suit by former employer

    Huntsville school board member named in civil suit by former employer

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-08-22 03:56:59 GMT
    Mike Culbreath is accused of conspiring with James Packard, a competing developer, to convince potential tenants to choose a competing development in the City of Huntsville.More >>
    Mike Culbreath is accused of conspiring with James Packard, a competing developer, to convince potential tenants to choose a competing development in the City of Huntsville.More >>
  • Three children found in home with meth lab outside

    Three children found in home with meth lab outside

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:30:49 GMT
    Authorities arrested Ashley Freeno and Christopher Silva after finding a methamphetamine lab outside their home. Further investigations revealed that drugs and other paraphernalia were inside their home where three young children live.The Department of Human Resources have placed the children into the custody of family members.Freeno was charged with manufacturing meth in the 2nd degree and two counts of possession. Silva was charged with manufacturing meth in the 1st degree and two counts of...More >>
    Authorities arrested Ashley Freeno and Christopher Silva after finding a methamphetamine lab outside their home. Further investigations revealed that drugs and other paraphernalia were inside their home where three young children live.The Department of Human Resources have placed the children into the custody of family members.Freeno was charged with manufacturing meth in the 2nd degree and two counts of possession. Silva was charged with manufacturing meth in the 1st degree and two counts of...More >>
  • Man arrested after agents seized over one pound of meth, three firearms, and one vehicle

    Man arrested after agents seized over one pound of meth, three firearms, and one vehicle

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:11:14 GMT
    On Aug 14, the Madison-Morgan STAC Team and Morgan County Drug Task Force responded to complaints from the community near Hulaco Road.Upon arrival, a search warrant was carried out at the home of Dustin Tyler Smith in Joppa Alabama.Agent had begun a new investigation Agents seized over one pound of methamphetamine, three firearms, and one vehicle.Smith was arrested in 2013 for trafficking in methamphetamine. He was out on bond and also on Community Corrections regarding his most recent arrest...More >>
    On Aug 14, the Madison-Morgan STAC Team and Morgan County Drug Task Force responded to complaints from the community near Hulaco Road.Upon arrival, a search warrant was carried out at the home of Dustin Tyler Smith in Joppa Alabama.Agent had begun a new investigation Agents seized over one pound of methamphetamine, three firearms, and one vehicle.Smith was arrested in 2013 for trafficking in methamphetamine. He was out on bond and also on Community Corrections regarding his most recent arrest...More >>
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

State fire marshal investigators say the cause of an apartment fire Wednesday morning in Athens was accidental.

It broke out at the Camelot Apartments complex on Elm Street. Everyone in that building had been evacuated. Investigators said they had ruled out anything suspicious.

The man who lives next door to the apartment where the fire started said he was sleeping when it broke out. He didn't know exactly what was happening when he woke up, but he knew something was wrong. Richard McElyea heard glass breaking, and at first, thought someone was breaking in.

McElyea said, "I took the screen out and stuck my head out the back window. I looked more and I saw smoke billowing out of the window, and then I just started panicking."

McElyea called 9-1-1, and began knocking on doors, starting with his neighbor's.

"I started knocking on her door and nobody answered, and I turned her knob to see if it would open and it did. When I opened it, I was taken back by the smoke, it was bad", added McElyea.

Luckily she wasn't home, but people in 19 other units were. Fire investigators say McElyea's actions may have saved lives. Soon after, attention turned to helping the victims. It will be several days before any of them can live at the apartment complex again. As for eight apartments, nobody will be able to live in these units again due to unlivable damages, and two of those are completely destroyed.

The Red Cross is helping some of those displaced by finding them some temporary housing. They've already put eight people in a local hotel for the next few days.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.