Two people are in custody over a fire that devastated a residential building in Atlanta this past weekend. An initial investigation determined that ignited fireworks on the roof caused the fire. Reserve at LaVista Walk apartments is the name of the affected complex.
Police arrested Robert Stokes and Charnelle Gunn in connection to the fire at the scene. They were booked into Fulton County Jail Saturday. Stokes and Gunn face first-degree criminal damage to property and reckless conduct charges, per jail records.
Both were granted a $20,000 surety bond for the criminal damage charge and a $10,000 surety bond for the reckless conduct charge. As of Tuesday, both appear to still be in police custody.
What Happened In Aftermath Of Atlanta Building Fire
According to the Associated Press, emergency officials evacuated hundreds of people from the apartment complex on Friday (Nov. 10) after 10:30 p.m. local time. Local firefighters were still battling hotspots into Saturday. WSB-TV reports that it took more than 80 firefighters to put out the flames.
Video and photo from the fire shows multiple affected apartments on the building’s top floor. The spaces appear to be completely ruined — leaving behind open ceilings, crumbling walls, and other damaged infrastructure.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that the 2000 block of the building “was not touched by flames,” while the 1000 block is “a total loss.”
Local outlets have not reported any human deaths, but about 17 people received medical attention for smoke inhalation from the fire. One cat reportedly passed away.
Additionally, at least 28 residents are receiving housing assistance from the Red Cross, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
See a clip of the damages below.
As for how the fire spread, Fire Chief Rod Smith told Fox 5 Atlanta this incident was “a complete anomaly.”
“So, a typical fire will burn upwards and where you will have the activation of the alarms as well as the sprinkler system. However, this one started in the roof. So, this was a complete anomaly. And so, the systems would not detect that until later into the alarm, which is very late if it starts in the roof, because it’s typically connected through the roof,” Chief Rod said.