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Fire officials: Electrical problems caused apartment fire

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A blaze that destroyed 10 units at a Forest Park apartment complex Sunday was likely the result of electrical problems, according to authorities.

Fire broke out around 2:20 a.m., Sunday, at the Laurel Pointe Apartments, located at 225 Johnson Road, according to Battalion Chief Landry Merkison of the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Department.

"It was an accidental fire," Merkison said Monday.

"We believe it was electrical in nature. It started in a plumbing, electrical chase -- a void that runs between units E and F," Merkison said.

No injuries were reported in the fire, according to Merkison.

The American Red Cross assisted in relocating the families affected, he said.

Two fires near church Monday

Clayton County firefighters responded to two fires near a Jonesboro church on Monday.

Around 2:30 p.m., firefighters were called to Shiloh Baptist Church, on Fayetteville Road. Merkison said a storage shed behind the church, which housed lawnmowers and other equipment, was on fire. He said a barn on the property of a vacant house next door was also on fire.

Merkison said the fire in the barn was put out with a fire extinguisher. "It was very small fire," he said.

Merkison said authorities believe the fire in the barn, about 100 feet west of the church's storage shed, was started by vagrants. He said there was no reason to believe anyone was in the storage shed at the time the fire started there.

No injuries were reported.

Rex home destroyed in Thanksgiving fire

Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a family's two-story brick home in Rex on Thanksgiving evening.

Around 6:30 p.m., Thursday, firefighters responded to a report of smoke at a home on Elizabeth Park Terrace, according to Merkison.

The family that lived in the home was headed out of town on a road trip when the fire was reported, according to Merkison.

"I think they were headed out of town for some sort of sporting event, a basketball tournament or something like that, over in Alabama," he said.

Merkison said a neighbor saw smoke coming from the home and called 911.

No one was injured, according to Merkison. The cause of the fire has not been determined, he said.

Merkison said arson is not suspected at this time.

-- Michael Davis contributed to this article.