COLUMBUS, Ga. – Chief of Columbus Fire and EMS Ricky Shores said they received a call at 3:01 Tuesday afternoon about a fire at the Boulevard Apartments on Martin Luther King Boulevard in South Columbus.
Chief Shores says the fire started in a bottom floor apartment and by the time they arrived, it had risen to the attic. As a result, the apartment sustained half of a million dollars in damage, 24 units were affected. Nobody was hurt, but dozens of people were left without a home three days before Christmas.
Columbus Fire and EMS along with Columbus Police said there were arson investigators on scene, but they could not confirm the case was being investigated as arson.
Natasha Horton is one of the residents of the apartment. She had just gone Christmas shopping for her kids. She told News 3 “It’s hard when you have to look at your kids face on Christmas knowing that you bought them gifts for Christmas and it got burnt down in the apartment. It’s sad to see a child wake up with nothing to open up. To see that look on a child’s face to feel like “wow, my mom left me out. She ain’t get me nothing. But, sure enough you did, but you lost it days before.”
Sederric Wells is another resident of the apartment. He says he saw a man leave an apartment, and says he knows who committed the act. Wells was doing all he could to get people out of the apartment. He helped get Natasha Horton out along with her kids, adults and Ashley Messer’s kids out of the building. “I grabbed as many as I could,” Wells said. “My cousin grabbed one of her kids cause I couldn’t hold all of them, but I made sure her kids were last cause she works at the Citgo right here. It was the only thing I could do. We lost everything pretty much. I was not going to leave this boulevard. With tears in her eyes, Messer added, “if it wasn’t for him, my kids would be dead right now.”
Johnny Green is another resident of the apartment. He told News 3 he had gone out before the fire. He saw the smoke and immediately began thinking of his son who was in the apartment when he had left.
Red Cross arrived to the scene just after 5 p.m. and began assisting people. Despite all of the losses, many at the scene say the Lord will get them through this tough situation.
This is an ongoing investigation and we will continue to bring you details as we receive them.
ORIGINAL STORY: COLUMBUS, Ga. – News 3 is on the scene of an apartment fire.
The fire broke out around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in the 1400 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
**Details are limited at this time. Stay with News 3 for the latest.