North Augusta apartment fire forces dozens out of their homes

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
An early morning fire happened at an apartment complex in North Augusta. (WRDW-TV)

An early morning fire happened at an apartment complex in North Augusta. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Almost a dozen families are left cleaning up a mess after a fire broke out at their apartment complex early Wednesday morning. It happened around 1 a.m. at Pine Crest Apartments in North Augusta.

"I just see the flames everywhere," said Horace Davis.

Davis and his family live in the apartment on the bottom floor where the fire started.

"When I first got out, I saw the smoke and the walls were just popping real bad," he said, describing the scene that woke him up. "I really didn't know what to do. I was kinda panicked."

Flames and smoke filled the building, forcing almost a dozen families out of their homes.

"We got inside, people were rushing outside, we were trying to get everybody out," explained Sgt. Eric Schafer with North Augusta Public Safety. "You could visibly see fire from the floor to the wall."

In total, there are 12 units inside the apartment building, but the worst damage came on the bottom floor where the fire started. Three apartments were left with major damage and the rest with smoke and water damage. The fire started in the wall between two apartments, so firefighters had to rip out wall and ceiling to get to the fire.

"You never think it's going to be your situation," said Ashley Cribb. "You all see it on the news or something, then you realize, 'Oh my God, my building's on fire.'"

Cribb, her husband, Robert, and their 1-year-old son, Michael, had a lot more to get out of the apartment than just possessions.

"We have two dogs and seven puppies, so my husband ran back in there to make sure and pull out all the dogs," Cribb said.

People were able to salvage most of their possessions and their Christmas gifts since the fire was mainly in the walls, but the reality of the situation is still sinking in.

"Everyone just seems to be kinda shaken up and confused about what happened and what's going on," Cribb said.

In the end, everyone got out safely, and to the people who live there, that's all that matters.

"As long as everybody's out, everybody's safe, people and animals, I'm fine," Mr. Cribb said.

"It's kinda bad, but it's good in a way, because everyone's still alive for the holidays," Davis said.

Public Safety says the cause of the fire was electrical. Power to the apartment was cut and everyone was asked not to stay there because of the smoke and carbon monoxide. The American Red Cross was there to help the families who had nowhere to go. There is no word on when they will be allowed to stay in their homes again.

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Crews are on scene where a fire broke out at the Pine Crest Apartments.

It happened just 1:10 a.m. on Belgium Circle off Bradleyville Road.

Almost a dozen families were ordered to evacuate because fire crews said the smoke and carbon monoxide are not safe for people to be around.

No one was injured.

Details on how the fire started are limited at this time.

News 12 has a crew on scene and will update you with more information as it comes into the newsroom.

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