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Fire destroys condemned
apartment building

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Firefighters with the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Department were on the scene of a fire Wednesday evening that engulfed a vacant building at a condemned apartment complex in Jonesboro, according to Battalion Chief Landry Merkison.

The fire broke out at the old Evergreen Apartments, located at 555 Battle Creek Road, he said.

No injuries were reported, according to Merkison. He said the cause of the blaze was still under investigation.

"There have been fires there recently," Merkison said. "The complex is unsecured. I'm quite sure there are probably people in and out of there on a daily basis.

"At this point, I'm confident it was probably the result of a human act, but whether that was accidental we don't know," he said.

Firefighters let the fire burn before attempting to put it out, so it would be easier to douse, Merkison said. "The fire burned through the roof, and once it opens itself up, we can get to everything," he said. "We want to make sure that once we start putting water on it, we can put it out," he said.

"This is a big topic in fire service right now," said Merkison. "Fire departments are risking the lives of their people on vacant structures," he said. "We stay vigilant, and make sure that, at the end of the day, all of our people go home."