SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Fire crews extinguished a large fire behind Habersham Village in Midtown Savannah Thursday morning.
According to the Savannah Fire Department, the fire destroyed a three-story apartment building that was under construction in the 4600 Block of Habersham Street. The building was fully engulfed when SFD crews arrived at the scene around 2:40 a.m.
“We found a three-story building, under construction, that was fully involved. And it was impeding up to the exposure to another three-story building. So, it was a two-alarm fire,” said Battalion Chief Steven Frazier, Savannah Fire.
Fire investigators say they are early into this investigation, but for the project manager this damage is a big hit. They don’t have a total cost, but say the building was 75 percent complete. Now it and half of the one building next to it will need to be rebuilt because of the intense flames.
Crews arrived at the scene just before 3 a.m. and say it was a challenge because the second and third floor collapsed in. They were able to contain the fire to just the two buildings, but the project manager with Omega said they did lose some materials because of the fire.
This site has been under construction for about a year and a half, and a lot of that hard work is now sitting in a pile of rubble.
“As we were leaving probably a block away from the station they could see the glow and the immediately went to defensive posture trying to stop it from spreading to the adjacent structure which you can see right behind us, you’ve already filmed the devastation,” Savannah Fire Assistant Chief of Operation William Handy said.
“A situation like this where you have a structure that’s under, in the phase of construction there’s no power running to it you start running out of accidental causes to, it’s the process of elimination and so we have to look at you know if somebody intentionally set the fire as a possibility. At this time, we don’t have enough to say that’s what we’re leaning towards right now, uh it’s undetermined like I said there’s other factors we have to take into consideration we have a lot more information to gather at this time,” Arson Investigator Fred Anderson said.
Savannah Fire’s investigator said the extent of the damage makes this investigation tricky, but they are actively working on it.
They do not believe this is connected to any recent fires in Chatham County and believe it is an isolated event. They say at this time the cause is undetermined but ask if you have any information on the fire that you call their hotline at 1-800-282-5804.
The project manager says this will delay construction, but for now they will focus on the southern side of the development as the investigation continues.