Fire blazes through apartment unit roof
Heavy damage was suffered by an apartment unit after an early morning fire Sunday.
Franklin Fire Chief Chuck Bourgeois said fire fighters were dispatched at 6:54 a.m. to Plantation Teche Apartments, 1110 Plantation Drive, for a report of a fire.
Upon arrival less than five minutes later, fire fighters found the entire roof of the four-apartment unit on fire. Mutual aid calls were sent out to Baldwin, Centerville and Chitimacha fire deparments. Patterson and Berwick also responded.
Residents had already evacuated. A resident had been awake and reportedly heard a loud lightning strike nearby. He smelled smoke in the bedroom of his upper-level apartment and went outside to find a large pine tree on fire and the blaze had spread to the roof. The resident called 911 and immediately evacuated the building of other residents.
Franklin fire fighters attacked the roof fire and were successful in “darkening” it, but it was unsafe to enter the building until they were able to control the fire in the attic area, which eventually collapsed.
They had the blaze under control by 7:47 a.m. Crews tried to salvage as much personal property for tenants as they could. They left the scene at 9:54 a.m.
Estimates on damage are $400,000 to the structure and $150,000 to contents.
The American Red Cross has been helping find lodging for 18 displaced tenants from four units.
On Saturday, an alarm at 627 Second St. sent fireighters out to arrive at 8:45 p.m. at a single family dwelling with heavy smoke showing. The eight residents had safely evacuated.
Baldwin and Centerville fire fighters were called out.
Fire fighters stopped the fire in the bedroom and bathroom. Estimated damage was $35,000 to the structure and $20,000 to contents.
No smoke detectors were installed, fire department officials say.