CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – No injuries were reported during a three-alarm fire at the Palms Apartments in West Ashley early Monday morning.
When crews with the Charleston Fire Department arrived on the scene, they found fire in a first-floor apartment – but flames quickly spread to the attic and roof of the two-story apartment complex.
Officials said four residents had to be rescued from their balconies in the burning building.
“Heavy flames forced firefighters to evacuate the building and begin defensive operations. Partial collapses subsequently occurred soon after firefighters were evacuated,” said Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh with CFD.
He said investigators from the Charleston Fire Marshal Division and the Charleston Police Department worked throughout the day interviewing occupants and gathering information about the fire.
They are not yet ready to determine the cause of the fire and said its origin may not be known for several days.
As of Monday afternoon, Charleston Fire officials said no injuries have been reported in connection to the apartment fire.
“This was a substantial incident in our community,” said Fire Chief Dan Curia. “This emergency relied on numerous partnerships with our regional response forces to quickly come together and protect our citizens. Thankfully, there were no injuries or loss of life. The outcome could have been much different.”
Charleston Fire officials said there were five interconnected buildings that were destroyed and two that received substantial damage; 56 units were displaced because of fire damage and 32 units were displaced from loss of power and water.
“An estimated 179 residents were displaced overall due to the event,” said Julazadeh. “The apartment complex, constructed in 1966, was equipped with smoke alarms within the dwelling units but the building is not protected by a fire sprinkler system.”