An official with the American Red Cross walks into a conference room at the Albany Civic Center Wednesday morning. Residents of Albany Heights were relocated overnight to the civic center after an apartment fire triggered evacuation of the downtown facility.
ALBANY, Ga. — The residents of a downtown apartment complex spent Tuesday night at Albany Civic Center after a series of fires that are believed to have been started by an arsonist triggered the evacuation of Albany Heights.
The residents were taken by bus back to the apartment building on Pine Avenue Wednesday morning after fire officials had checked to ensure that fire suppression systems were operational and that any standing water had been removed.
“At this point, we’re working to ensure that the sprinklers are functional and that all of the standing water in the lobby is cleared out and that the building is fit for habitation,” Carswell said.
The fire department received a call around 6 p.m. when two trash can fires were discovered — one on the sixth floor and one on the fifth. Those fires were quickly extinguished only for firefighters to return around 8 p.m. to a report of a trash fire in the basement.
A third separate fire call, which was reported shortly after midnight, prompted the evacuation of the building when furniture in the lobby of the building caught fire triggering the sprinkler systems and inundating the first floor of the building with water.
At that point, residents were temporarily moved to the Dougherty County Courthouse before being moved on transit buses to the Albany Civic Center.
Wednesday morning, the American Red Cross was serving the residents breakfast while the apartment manager worked to clear out the excess water and get the sprinkler system repaired.
Fire officials say they have a number of possible suspects but that formal charges had not yet been filed.