News 12 at 6 o'clock/ July 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga.--Augusta's Fire Chief is releasing more information about what caused part of a fire station to collapse two weeks ago.
Station 9 on Walton Way Extension has been out of commission ever since, making some response times in that area a little slower. Just this weekend, there were two apartment fires in the station's territory.
Even though firefighters are responding from a little farther away, Chief Christopher James says he's impressed with how they're handling emergencies.
Yellow tape now blocks off the charred remains of a Millbrooke Point apartment building. Yesterday, smoke and flames could be seen for miles off Skinner Mill Road in Augusta.
Danielle Colivas lives next door to the apartment that caught fire. "The top floor in one of the buildings, then the smoke came its way out, worked its way down and blew out the glass. Then, that tree caught on fire. The last thing was the grass," Colivas explained.
While the surrounding grass and trees are burned and the apartments appear to be a total loss, Danielle is glad the fire was stopped before it spread to her building next door.
"I was actually ready to cry because of my baby and you know, it's a lot of stuff you have in your house. I wouldn't want to lose all of that. I really feel sorry for the people who did lose all of their property," she said.
Chief Christopher James says this was one of two apartment fires in Station 9's territory this weekend.
"Would it have been better if they'd have been at that station? I believe so. But do I think it had a dramatic affect on the outcome? I do not," he explained. Chief James added, "They pretty much stopped the fires to the areas of origin."
He said their response area is stretched out right now, but, "the crews went in and did an outstanding job."
News 12 was at the station two weeks ago after a column collapsed at Station 9.
"The compartment door on the apparatus either was left open, or opened, and it hit the column on the way out," Chief James explained.
James says, "That by itself should not have caused the column to collapse. But what we found out later is the column was not reinforced by steel."
Engineers are still finishing their inspection this afternoon so they can build the station back up to code.
Witnesses tell News 12's Carter Coyle the Red Cross is helping house and clothe the families who lost their homes in this weekend's fire at Millbrooke Point.
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