3 people injured, 1 dog killed in Cullman County apartment fire - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

3 people injured, 1 dog killed in Cullman County apartment fire

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The Cullman County apartment fire destroyed 16 units and injured three people. The Cullman County apartment fire destroyed 16 units and injured three people.
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CULLMAN COUNTY, AL - An early morning apartment fire injured three people and killed one dog in Cullman today.

Just before 2:30 this morning, Cullman and Vinemont Fire Departments responded to a fire at Oak Ridge Apartments on Donauer Drive.

Authorities say the fire started in a bottom unit, spreading quickly through the entire side of the complex.

Resident Bill Marks says he heard banging on his apartment door.

"There was a pounding on the door, I mean a pounding. I opened the door it was police officer. He said to me, 'You got to get out, the place is going up,'" Marks said.

He and his partner grabbed their pets and ran for safety without shoes.

"The flames were just literally engulfing coming out of that apartment," he recalled.

Fire investigators say two people suffered smoke inhalation and another was flown to UAB Hospital. Officials say a dog that was killed had been trapped in a cage.

"If it wasn't for the police department there would have been fatalities. They literally knocked down doors. They literally rescued one woman right out of bed they took a child right out of bed while the fire was raging," Marks said.

Fire officials say a Cullman Police Officer suffered an eye injury this morning. That officer was treated at the scene and is expected to be OK.

Noah Chappell, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, also had damage to his apartment. But, it didn't stop him from helping his neighbors out today. 

Sixteen apartment units either sustained water and smoke damage or were completely destroyed. 30 people were displaced from their homes.

"We've been able to facilitate moving them to another location that we have here in Cullman," Oak Ridge apartment manager Jennifer Guthery said.

Four out of the 30 fire victims are working with the American Red Cross to find a place to stay.

"I think unless you've experienced it, I don't think anybody understands what it's like.

Jackson Claghorn says his friend lost his home to the blaze and he's worried about him.

"I want to say that I love him and I miss him very much and I could cry if I could and I want to give him a hug," he said.

State and local fire marshals spent most of the day digging through debris trying to find out what sparked the fire.



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