(Duluth, Ga., Dec. 30, 2019) - Firefighters were dispatched at 8:38pm on December 30, 2019 to a report of a fire at the Landmark at Bella Vista Apartments located at 4015 Satellite Boulevard NW in unincorporated Duluth. Multiple callers to 9-1-1 reported the building being on fire.

Personnel reported seeing a dark column of smoke while driving to the scene. Upon their arrival at the multi-family dwelling, crews found flames and smoke aggressively pushing out of the backside of the building. Parts of the structure had already started to collapse. Firefighters attempted to make entrance into the building to begin extinguishing the flames and search for potential victims but conditions were not tenable.  Significant heat from the blaze pushed fire personnel back outside of the apartment building. Approximately 6 to 7 hand lines as well as a large diameter hose were all deployed to attempt to get the fire under control but with no immediate results. The Incident Commander instructed two ladder trucks to put their aerial platforms into operation and begin placing large volumes of water on the building. This command decision, along with the building’s firewall, enabled firefighters to keep the flames from extending to the next building over. During fireground operations, the Technical Rescue Team (TRT-24) was requested to provide assistance with the structural collapse. Unfortunately, fire damage was too extensive to make any type of structural stabilization an option. Once the blaze was brought under control, search teams checked the building for victims. No victims were found and the property manager was able to confirm that all residents had been accounted for.

Fire Investigators responded to the incident and are actively trying to determine how and where the fire started in the 10-unit building. The American Red Cross is providing temporary assistance for 29 individuals (23-adults and 6-children). Two patients were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A third patient was assessed but declined further evaluation at the hospital. A patient refusal was obtained. There were no reported injuries to any firefighters and all of their vital signs were found to be within normal limits prior to returning to service.

Residents are encouraged to keep their home and family safe by following simple fire safety rules:

  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each of the bedrooms.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan and practice fire drills regularly.
  • Have a collapsible fire escape ladder.
  • Keep a portable fire extinguisher close at hand to douse a small fire.

For additional information on home fire safety, please contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division at 678-518-4845 or email fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.

EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 5-Fire Engines, 3-Ladder Trucks, 2-Squads, 1-Technical Rescue Truck, 1-Georgia Search & Rescue Truck, 1-Special Response Unit, 1-Air & Light Truck, 2-Medic Units, 2-Battalion Chiefs, 1-District Commander, 2-Fire Investigators and 1-PIO.

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