College Park Cambridge Ave fire 94-year-old woman rescued

Firefighters are working to learn what sparked the fire at a complex along Cambridge Avenue.

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A 94-year-old College Park woman is recovering after an apartment building caught fire Tuesday morning. Nearly a dozen people are now without a home, according to firefighters.

Firefighters are working to learn what sparked the fire at a complex along Cambridge Avenue. The building is about a quarter-mile from Woodward Academy and near Atlanta Unbound Academy.

Brian Ferguson, a Woodward Academy campus patrol officer, was notified of the fire around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday. He and other security team members checked out the scene and helped people get out of the burning building, according to a school official.

“As soon as we got here, we wanted to limit the loss of life, immediately didn’t think twice and just jumped into action,” Ferguson said. 

A 94-year-old woman was trapped in the fire and rescued by crews on scene. Her legs and feet were burned, and she is being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital. A former teacher close to the woman said she would likely move to a nursing home after leaving the hospital. Firefighters added that six apartment units were damaged by water or fire, however, they’ve determined that the building sustained moderate damage.

“Every second matters in a situation like this, in any emergency situation. Seconds later could’ve potentially been a loss of life,” Ferguson said. “I’m glad we were able to jump into action when we did, how we did. I’m glad we were able to put ourselves second and there was no loss of life.”

The three security personnel banged on doors to help neighbors escape the fire. Woodward Academy buses also helped children from the nearby Liberation Academy be shuttled to a safe space on its campus until their parents were able to pick them up, the school said. Woodward provided lunches and water to the students and teachers who were evacuated at Liberation Academy, along with water to the apartment tenants, a school spokesperson said. 

The complex owner told 11Alive some residents were temporarily staying at a nearby Motel 6, and others were staying with family.

Lucinda Owens and her husband, Dominic, own a property just up the road from the apartment complex and offered to house some of the fire victims temporarily. 

“Many of them have lived in this neighborhood for over 20 years,” Lucinda said. “For people like that to have to go to a motel or somewhere they haven’t lived in the last 20 years, it has to be hard. Although we can’t restore this building, just being able to still offer this neighborhood so they can go to the same church or the same grocery store that they’ve been going to the last few years, I think that’s really important and something we’d love to do if allotted the opportunity.”

The Red Cross is helping the 11 residents who have been replaced at the public safety building, according to College Park Fire.


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