ATLANTA — Firefighters are investigating what allowed a fire to torch The Reserve at LaVista Walk Apartment Complex. On Monday, Atlanta Fire Chief Rod Smith said the fire’s origin may have played a role.
“What’s unique is it started in the roof, in the roof line,” Smith said.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Atlanta fire officials said Charnelle Gunn and Robert Stokes ignited the flames after they lit fireworks on the roof.
“If it starts in the roof line, then clearly the alarm system is not going to activate. The sprinkler systems are heat-detected, so if it’s not burning up but burning down, it’s going to present a different challenge,” Smith said. “A typical fire would burn upwards where you would have the activation of the alarms, as well as the sprinkler system. However, this started on the roof, so this was a complete anomaly. So the systems would not detect this until later.”
The fire chief says he is looking to see if the fire code needs to be modified to account for future cases like this.
The origin of the fire is one part of an ongoing investigation. Chief Smith said they are also looking at the building plans and working to see if the building was up to fire code standards.
Both Gunn and Stokes face reckless conduct and criminal property damage charges.
There was no estimate on when the investigation would be complete or what changes to the fire code would look like.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
IN OTHER NEWS:
©2023 Cox Media Group
Register & add your business/service with a few clicks in our directory free:
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.