Local Many firefighters use a ladder truck and hose to drench the roof of apartment building destroyed by fire Sunday, Jan. 12. Courtesy photo by fire chief Scott Gowan
Story by staff reporter Nora Drenner
Fire leveled an apartment complex along Middle Creek Rd in Many on Sunday, Jan. 12. All those inside escaped without injury.
Nearly 50 volunteer firefighters were called to battle the Apollo Plaza Apartments blaze located at 583 Middle Creek Rd. First on scene was personnel with the local Central Sabine Fire Station in Many.
Fire Chief Scott Gowan said upon arrival heavy flames and smoke were coming from the front and both sides of the complex, with four of the 16 apartments heavily engulfed in flames. Smoke alarms inside building were also going off, which helped to get everybody safely out, noted Gowan.
Authorities were notified of the blaze at 12:29 p.m. and the first truck complete with ladder and pump was on scene at 12:34 p.m. Soon after, additional local firefighters and four more local fire department trucks arrived.
Volunteer chief Gowan noted the complex was outside the city limits, therefore, no fire hydrant was on site. Additional tankers and personnel with the North Sabine Parish Fire Department, South Sabine Parish Fire Department, Natchitoches Parish Fire Department were also called to assist.
A total of 15 trucks of which 12 housed tankers that held at least 3,000 gallons of water each were dispatched. “That’s a lot of water on scene,” said Gowan. Fire personnel totaled 49. Moreover, Many and Natchitoches law enforcement assisted with crowd control and traffic.
“Our first line attack was to get to the attic,” said Gowan, who noted the attic ran the entire length of the roof. There was no fire break in the attic, said Gowan, which contributed to the fire spreading quickly.
“We were unable to save the building,” commented Gowan. All 16 apartments were destroyed, with the residents of 14 apartments left homeless, said Gowan, citing two apartments were vacant due to renovations. Fire crews remained on scene till 7:50 p.m.
Red Cross arrived to distribute food and clothing to the families. Rigs & Racks Fitness Center in Many has also stepped up to the plate to help the families who have lost their home and personal belongings. Call Rigs & Racks at 318/379-8484 for additional information or to donate items.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by state fire marshals out of Avoyelles Parish.