Several families are homeless after fire burned through a two-story apartment building in Decatur.
The complex is Hillsides Apartments just off of Quail Run Drive near I-20 in Dekalb County.
Flames overtook the wood-framed building in a matter of minutes. Investigators said a grease fire in a first-floor unit started the fire.
At least three families, including children, lost their homes. Two of the families took up the Red Cross offer to put them up in a hotel and provide food and clothing for the next three days.
Terrance Nash was pulling up to the apartments when he saw the flames. He immediately called for help and then recorded video with his cell phone.
"Got to call 911," Nash said of his first thought upon seeing fire. "I didn't want my family members and their apartment to go up in flames as well. So as long as we got 911 out here I'm pretty sure they were going to take care of the job."
As firefighters successfully put out the flames, it was clear the damage was severe. The fire destroyed three units.
John Spruce owns a downstairs unit, which he leases to a tenant. Spruce walked around, staring in disbelief.
"I don't know if they have to tear most of that down," he said in a daze, sitting on a boulder with his eyes wide. "It's kind of like deja vu. This has happened over here before. This whole unit burned down. It's kind of like a dark cloud over here in terms of like these fires and things."
"Those things happen," Spruce said shrugging. "But lightning has struck more than once over here, unfortunately."
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