CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Investigators are still working to determine what caused a massive fire that destroyed an apartment complex in West Ashley earlier this month.

The Charleston Fire Department and several assisting agencies responded to the Palms Apartments the morning of February 7th after someone called to report smoke in the hallway. The fire eventually spread, destroying five buildings and damaging two others.

Nearly 180 people were displaced because of the fire.

Because of the size and scope of the fire and subsequent damage, Charleston fire investigators requested help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and their National Response Team (NRT).  

Teams spent much of the week conducting interviews and supporting on-scene investigation efforts. “The site investigation continued through the weekend and NRT members departed on Monday morning, 2/14/2022,” said Chief Fire Marshal Michael Julazadeh.

Julazedeh said investigators with Charleston Fire Marshal Division, detectives from the Charleston Police Department, and the local ATF Charleston field office continue to work through the information they have gathered so far.

The Charleston Fire Department is also looking for any photos or videos that were taken during the fire which could help in their investigation. The media can be sent to