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Fire destroys area apartment building

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Seven families were displaced by a fire at the Highland Grand Apartments on Tara Boulevard Monday afternoon.

Clayton County Fire Battalion Chief Landry Merkison said no one was hurt in the blaze, which broke out just after 3 p.m., at the complex located at 6726 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro.

Investigators were looking into the cause of the fire Monday evening, but arson was not suspected, according to Merkison.

Eight units in Building 34 were destroyed, Merkison said. One of those was vacant. The Red Cross was assisting the displaced families.

Merkison said no one was in the building at the time of the blaze. He said a passerby smelled smoke coming from one of the units and knocked on the door to see whether anyone was in the apartment. Merkison said the passerby kicked in the front door and found the fire was well under way.

No sprinklers were in the units because the building was constructed prior to county code requiring sprinkler systems, Merkison said. If the building is rebuilt, it would have to include sprinklers in keeping with the county ordinance, he said.

Merkison said it took firefighters about 45 minutes to get the blaze under control.