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LaGrange Fire Department: Apartment fire started on back porch

Exact cause still under investigation

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Flames show through the roof of Valley Ridge Apartments off Mooty Bridge Road on Sunday afternoon in this photo from the scene submitted by a reader. Four apartments were destroyed in the incident, displacing several residents. LaGrange firefighters said the cause of the blaze was still undetermined, but believe it started on the back porch of one of the units.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/09/web1_WEB0923AptFire1.jpgFlames show through the roof of Valley Ridge Apartments off Mooty Bridge Road on Sunday afternoon in this photo from the scene submitted by a reader. Four apartments were destroyed in the incident, displacing several residents. LaGrange firefighters said the cause of the blaze was still undetermined, but believe it started on the back porch of one of the units.

Submitted

Smoke and flames pour from the roof area of Valley Ridge Apartments off Mooty Bridge Road on Sunday afternoon in this photo from the scene submitted by a reader.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/09/web1_WEB0923AptFire2.jpgSmoke and flames pour from the roof area of Valley Ridge Apartments off Mooty Bridge Road on Sunday afternoon in this photo from the scene submitted by a reader.

Submitted

LaGRANGE — A blaze that destroyed four units in the Valley Ridge Apartment complex at 962 Mooty Bridge Road on Sunday afternoon most likely started on a back patio of one of those apartments.

Officials from the LaGrange Fire Department announced the finding Monday afternoon, but said this morning they have not determined what caused the fire to start in the first place. LFD Lt. Chris Taylor said that the heavy damage to the apartments have hindered fire investigators, but they do not suspect arson.

Firefighters were dispatched to the apartment complex around 1 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived on scene, crews found heavy smoke and fire spewing from the back of a two story, wood frame building that housed a total of eight units, according to a press release issued by the department.

Firefighters received confirmation that all the occupants were out of the building and began trying to extinguish the blaze. According to the report, at one point, flames and smoke began shooting through the top of the roof, causing the attic area to become unstable.

LaGrange firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in an hour and a half, stated officials.

Four apartments, mainly those on the top floor, were destroyed by fire, smoke or water damage, the report states.

LaGrange firefighters said the families who lived in those units are being helped by the American Red Cross. Those folks will also have to find a new place to call home, officials added.

One person was hurt when she sprained her ankle trying to get down the stairs to escape the smoke and flames, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Monday afternoon.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.