Apartment fire displaces 61 occupants, but most get new homes

Feb. 21, 2013 @ 06:33 PM

An accidental fire that damaged 16 units at an apartment complex left 61 occupants temporarily homeless, but most had been placed in other apartments Thursday.

The fire at Oak Creek Village Apartments on Garrett Road at U.S. 15-501 Wednesday afternoon left a dog dead but injured no humans, fire officials said.

American Red Cross officials said they helped coordinate efforts to provide food, shelter and emotional support to the 61 occupants, including 40 adults and 21 children.

Beth Walden, disaster coordinator for the Red Cross, said that as of Thursday afternoon, the apartment’s management had done “an excellent job” in placing occupants in 15 of the 16 units affected into new apartments at the complex.

Sierra Jackson, spokeswoman for the Durham Fire Department, said fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire at 4230 Garrett Road was accidental. Inspectors said it started near electrical wiring between a hot water heater and electrical panel at one apartment.

Jackson said only one apartment, J-28, had fire damage, two others sustained water damage and the rest had smoke damage. She said all occupants of the building were displaced due to smoke and damaged ceilings in the breezeways.

Dan Curia, interim fire chief, said a small dog was found dead in a pet carrier inside one of the apartments.

Restoration efforts were under way Thursday at the apartment building, which sustained heavy damage to the roof.

Apartment management declined comment.


To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help those affected by fires and other disasters, visit www.triangleredcross.org or call 919-231-1602.