Dozens displaced by Huntsville apartment fire - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Dozens displaced by Huntsville apartment fire

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Residents who were unable to find accommodation will be housed at St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church. Residents who were unable to find accommodation will be housed at St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church.

As many as 40 people were displaced Sunday morning after a fire caused major damage to an apartment complex.

Huntsville Fire & Rescue said the call came in to the 911 center at 4:55 a.m. Firefighters said crews arrived at 5001 Galaxy Way to find heavy flames outside the apartment and in the breezeway. Firefighters said a resident jumped from a second-story apartment and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities reported that all in all, six fire engines, one ladder truck and one special response vehicle responded to the fire, along with two district chiefs.

Crews said they pulled hose lines and began extinguishing flames on the outside of the building. Firefighters said they made entry into the downstairs apartment and extinguished most of the fire, then headed upstairs and extinguished the rest. Crews said residents from the backside of the apartments were then evacuated.

Firefighters reported that power was pulled from the complex, affecting 16 units, eight of which were damaged by smoke and fire.

One of those displaced is Greg White. He said his mom woke him up and together, they safely got out of their apartment, along with their pets. He said Sunday started out "frustrating" until he realized what could have happened.

"I feel blessed," said White, who said he helped knock on neighbors' doors to alert them to the blaze. "It's not about luck, because me and my mom could have been asleep and gone. Anybody in this building could be gone."

Joe Sims of Madison County Red Cross said a shelter has opened to help the residents affected at St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church. "We're expecting anywhere from 10-20 people at this point, but it could be more," Sims said.

Sims said he doesn't anticipate the shelter will have to remain open for more than a few days, but said they will help in any way they can. "We get the satisfaction of helping someone; maybe we get more out of it than the people we help," he said.

Fire officials said investigators plan to return to the scene Monday morning as they search for a cause.

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