HAMLET — Twenty people were forced out of their homes early Wednesday morning following a fire at Tall Pines Apartments.
Firefighters rushed to the scene off Wiregrass Road after receiving the call just before 3:30 a.m., according to Richard Lassiter with the Hamlet Fire Department.
When they arrived on scene, Lassiter said smoke and flames were showing from one of the buildings. He said the fire appears to have started in a small attached building at the back of the apartment block, spread up the back wall and to the roof, getting into the attic space.
It took about 23 minutes to get the fire under control, but blown-in insulation continued to smolder after the flames were knocked down and firefighters remained on scene, putting out hot spots until 8 a.m., Lassiter added.
Three of the eight units in the building were burned out and a few others had water damage.
“Right now the whole building is unlivable,” Tammy Goins, apartment manager, said 12 hours later as the charred odor lingered in the air.
“We’re going to get it fixed, we’re going to get it rebuilt and we’re going to get our people back in,” she added.
In the meantime, the tenants are being assisted by the American Red Cross, who showed up around 5 a.m. to help find temporary housing for those displaced.
“We’re going to take care of our people,” Goins said.
None of the residents or firefighters were injured in the blaze and no other departments had to be called out for mutual assistance.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Hamlet Police Department.
Gavin Stone contributed to this story. Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675.