State fire marshal investigates blaze on King George Blvd. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

State fire marshals investigate Georgetown apartment blaze

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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

The State Fire Marshals Office is investigating what sparked a massive apartment fire Wednesday night in Georgetown.

They said they believe the fire started somewhere in the two end units on the right side. The cause remains unknown, but they believe it was accidental. They're looking at the air condition and heating units to find out whether the fire began there.

The American Red Cross says six units were destroyed and half a dozen families have been displaced, including six adults and four children in the blaze at the Crown Villa apartments on King George Boulevard. 

Firefighters say the blaze had been smoldering in the walls and attic of the apartment building for at least an hour before tenants knew anything was wrong. 

A tenant discovered the fire at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and called 911. He said he had no idea how serious it was until he tried to run back inside to grab some clothes. 

Multiple fire crews arrived at the scene just as the roof collapsed. It took about 50 firefighters about a half hour just to get the blaze under control. 

Southside Fire Assistant Chief Hugh Futrell said this was a very difficult fire to fight.

"When our guys got on scene, the roof just ignited. Basically it looks like it had been burning for a while in the interior walls and got into the attic," said Futrell.  "It smoldered and burned for a while and once it got oxygen and found a way to break out, it broke out and ignited all at once."

Families were able to see inside their homes Thursday, seeing the damage for the first time. They tell us they were able to salvage more than they expected. 

"The downstairs looks like we can get a lot out of there. The upstairs, the bedroom, the clothes in there are completely gone," said Dee McGarity, one of the tenants.

McGarity says among many things, she lost her wedding ring and her mother's wedding ring. However, she was able to save her mothers china, which was virtually unharmed. McGarity says everything she lost can be replaced.

"The first thing I thought of was, 'I hope everyone is out ok.' The other stuff is just stuff. It's just stuff," said McGarity.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

No one was injured. Red Cross volunteers provided funds for food, clothing and temporary shelter. To donate to the Red Cross to help victims, see this link.

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