Cornelia - Residents of a Cornelia Apartment Complex are finding themselves with nowhere to go after a fire wreaked havoc overnight.
Fire Chief for the City of Cornelia, Bill Jenkins, tells WCHM that the call came in around 12:05 this, Friday Aug. 30, morning, sending emergency personnel to 459 Irvin Street in Cornelia.
The complex is just off Level Grove Road, according to Jenkins.
A mystery man happened to be walking by the complex and was able to alert one of the residents by throwing a rock at their window. The resident was then able to wake others.
A member of the community, Zane Stewart, says that “There was a white male with a red shirt and military style haircut that potentially saved lives last night by alerting everyone inside of the fire. Any information on who that person was would be appreciated. If you know this person, please contact me at (706) 499-1008.”
According to Jenkins, the residents weren’t able to make it out the front door and were essentially trapped on the decks of the building.
“By the grace of God everyone was able to get out of the residence,” Jenkins says.
Bystanders were able to aid the police department in helping the residents off the decks and into safety.
The Cornelia Fire Department, Lee Arrendale State Prison, along with Habersham County Police were able to come together to get the situation under control.
The residents of the building lost all of their possessions and 13 were left homeless. The Red Cross is putting the displaced residents in a local hotel until further notice.
Jenkins tells WCHM that they are still investigating the cause of the fire and that himself and the State Fire Marshal “know that there were smokers out on the front porch.” He goes on to say that “we’re not sure if that’s going to be the case of it or if it’s going to be something different.”
They are looking for the ones who assisted the residents in getting off the back deck. “I feel like they need to be recognized,” Jenkins said.