A fire caused approximately $60,000 in damages to the LeMans Apartments early Friday morning.
At 12:19 a.m., on the 400 block of Northside Drive, the Valdosta Fire Department responded to an apartment fully engulfed in flames and smoke, according to Valdosta Fire Chief J.D. Rice.
When the firefighters arrived, they “sized up” the situation and attempted to put out the fire that affected the eight apartments in Building E, Rice said. The firefighters called in an additional unit because of the fire size and amount of smoke.
“It was necessary to have the additional assistance to be sure all the occupants got out safely,” the fire chief said.
Valdosta police officers, the Red Cross, Georgia Power and the emergency-medical services also responded to the scene.
An officer noted that a person and some animals were trapped inside one of the apartments. After the person and pets were successfully rescued, officials discovered a 16-year-old was a resident of the apartment where the fire started and in the residence alone at the time of the fire.
Rice added that the cause is determined to be from unattended cooking.
“The damages could have been a lot worse,” Rice said. “The quick response of the fire department kept the situation contained and also saved lives.”
Many of the residents in the building were displaced because of smoke damage. The building is valued around $1 million.
The apartment manager agreed to stay on site through the morning to be sure no other problems erupted.
No serious injuries were reported. Some were, however, treated at the scene by the EMS for smoke inhalation.