SFD: Morning fire that damaged 2 apartments being investigated as domestic-related arson

SFD: Morning fire that damaged 2 apartments being investigated as domestic-related arson

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A fire damaged an apartment building early Friday morning on Savannah’s Southside.

The Savannah Fire Department says it happened around 3:30 a.m. in the 0 block of Peachtree Drive. They say the fire appears to have originated in a ground floor apartment on a mattress and damaged the room and its contents, as well as a portion of a wall in the apartment above, the eaves, and some exterior siding.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, preventing it from spreading to any of the other neighboring units.

No one was home at either unit at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

Savannah Fire says this is being investigated as a domestic-related arson. The residents of both damaged apartments were displaced. However, investigators believe the ground floor resident was the intended victim.

A man living right next door to the targeted apartment detailed a terrifying morning that could’ve ended much worse.

“We never went back to sleep. We were up all night.”

For Jesse Smith, Thursday night was anything but typical.

“We kept hearing a lot of noise like ‘boom’ like a lot of booming going on. Like someone was trying to break in or kick the door in.”

The noise coming from his neighbor’s apartment would soon go quiet. But unfortunately for Jesse, a long night was just beginning.

“About three o’clock my wife woke me up yelling, ‘Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!’”

Their apartment was full of smoke. Smoke that wasn’t coming from their unit.

“So, I came outside. When I got outside, I looked and this door here was open and it looked like a furnace in there cause there was fire everywhere on this inside of the house.”

His neighbor’s apartment engulfed in flames and growing. But luckily Jesse wasn’t the only one just arriving on the scene.

“When I saw the flames, I saw the fire trucks coming out too. So, everything was like clockwork they were right on time.”

Savannah Fire quickly getting the flames under control.

Although Jesse’s apartment did have minor smoke and water damage, he knows it could’ve been much worse.

“The property got damaged, but you can always replace property, you can’t replace a life. So, I just thank God ain’t nobody got hurt, that’s the main thing.”

While the fire is now out the remnants of a terrifying night remain. One Jesse won’t soon forget and hope others can learn from.

“Pay attention to your surroundings. If you hear any kind of false noise or any kind of movement call 911 so it can get checked out before it ever gets to this.”

Some good news for Jesse and his wife. He tells WTOC that the apartment complex has found a new unit for them to move into as early as Friday night.

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