Investigators search for cause of West Ashley weekend apartment fire
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Days after a large three-story apartment fire in West Ashley left at least 50 residents displaced, the cause of the fire still remains unknown.
The fire at Colonial Grand at Cypress Cove, located near the 3500 block of Mary Ader Avenue, damaged 24 units. It was reported at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Sunday.
The Charleston Fire Department said no one was injured in the fire and were still searching for a few missing cats on Sunday before firefighters with engine 116 located the last cat hiding inside a box spring of a bed in a fire-damaged apartment.
Lynn Walsh, who has lived in the complex since August, first heard about the fire when her Ring doorbell continued to go off with firefighters in front of the video camera.
“I was just kind of along with everyone else in the building. Whether you were home or not, it was kind of a waiting game to see what happened,” Walsh says. “All the first responders and everyone who worked at the apartment complex were super nice, super gracious with their time. They made us feel settled and were a good calming presence to have around.”
Charleston Fire Department Chief Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said the crews arrived on the scene six minutes after the fire was called in. He said the fire was very difficult to control after it was extended into the attic.
“There are things that I still have, and there are people whose structure and belongings were burned,” Walsh says. “A lot of my damage is water damage and the roof is gone. All of my things were still there, but are they usable? No.”
A fire happened at the same complex in 2020 leaving 24 units damaged as well, but it is still unknown if the cause of the fire is the same in both cases.
Despite losing her apartment and the majority of her belongings, Walsh continues to look on the bright side.
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that people are really good; there’s a lot of good people left in the world, and think other people that lived in the unit are experiencing this as well,” she says. “The love, support and generosity that has been coming my way has been incredible.”
Julazadeh said Red Cross responded to the scene to help residents.
The fire department said the investigation is ongoing and has asked for the public’s help. Anyone who took photos or videos of the fire that may help as fire investigators reconstruct the timeline of the fire is asked to email them to CFDmedia@charleston-sc.gov.
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