CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A firefighter and two residents were transported to the hospital and released following a fire at an apartment building in West Ashley early Monday morning.
At 12:57 a.m., the Charleston Fire Department along with emergency crews responded to a structure fire in the 1500 block of North Avalon Circle.
First responders encountered heavy fire venting from the front door of the middle apartment of the the three apartment building.
According to CFD officials, occupants of the apartment were sleeping when one occupant heard a loud noise in the kitchen, entered the kitchen and discovered a fire near the stove.
The occupant alerted additional residents of the apartment to exit the structure and then alerted the residents of one of the adjoining units. The occupant of the other adjoining unit smelled smoke and safely exited.
The occupant re-entered the apartment multiple times to attempt to extinguish the growing fire. Upon the arrival of the fire department units the fire had extended into the attic space and fire personnel commenced an exterior attack to contain the bulk of the fire.
Fire and smoke heavily damaged all three apartment units of the triplex building.
CFD officials say none of the occupants reported hearing a smoke alarm activate and the operational status of the alarms is unknown at this time.
The American Red Cross was notified and is working to assist the 11 occupants who lived in the triplex unit.
One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion and was transported and released from a local hospital. Two occupants of the middle apartment were transported and released from a local hospital due to smoke inhalation.
Members of the City of Charleston Fire Department Fire Marshal Division responded to investigate the cause of the fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.