Apartment fire survivors say smoke detectors weren’t working

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Dozens of families are displaced after a huge apartment fire in Antioch, near Bell Road.

The Allegro fire on Bell forced the Nashville Fire Department to bring in multiple units from across the city. The building is a total loss.

The fire started just before 5 a.m. in the 1500 block of Brentridge Drive, according to the Nashville Fire Department’s official Twitter page. Building A was deemed a “total loss”, NFD said. One person had to be transported for a respiratory problem. According to them, it took about an hour to bring the fire under control.

More than a dozen survivors told NewsChannel 5 that no smoke alarms or fire alarms went off to alert them to the blaze. They said neighbors knocked on doors to wake them up.

Kasi Hicks has lost everything. She remembers her neighbor waking her up, running to the front door with her cat, and the door being completely swallowed up.

“My cat has gone back into the room and I’m trying to grab it. The ceiling is starting to crumble and the smoke is everywhere. We lost our sight,” Hicks explained.

Hicks tried to save his five pets. She had a Maine Coon kitten, 2 snakes and a fish.

“I took one of my snakes and threw it through an open door. I was hoping it might get out, but I don’t know if it did,” Hicks said.

“The complex – I couldn’t imagine anyone acting worse,” resident Skyler Chuckry said.

Chuckry is disappointed with the apartment complex for not answering the emergency line.

“From 5pm to 8.30am they couldn’t reach anyone. Every phone number we called was ringing at reception and the only reason we entered the main office was because the Red Cross had broken in. so we can have a place where we stand out from the 40 degree weather,” Chuckry said.

Fire officials said all residents were being taken care of, but Hicks believes many pets perished in the blaze.

“My pets cannot be replaced, they are part of the family,” Hicks said.

Right now, residents have a lot of questions, but they think things could have been worse.

“I’m dreading the process moving forward, but I’m grateful to be alive,” resident Taylor Caudillo said.

NewsChannel 5 has contacted the owners of the “Birge & Held” property about issues with smoke detectors and other complaints from residents.

Their responses are given below:

What’s next for residents after the fire? What does the company do for residents?

“The health and safety of our residents will always be our priority. We are cooperating fully with the fire service and doing everything we can to ensure that displaced people have a safe place to return.

The Birge & Held team is working with the American Red Cross to secure hotel rooms for residents over the next few nights. At the same time, we are securing apartments for displaced residents either in Allegro on Bell or down the street in our Lyric on Bell apartment community. »

Several residents told us that the smoke detectors were not working at the time of the fire. Can you talk about it?

“As background, Birge & Held purchased Allegro from Bell in July 2022. As part of the due diligence of the sale, we received a copy of the annual fire inspection report carried out on April 7, 2022. At the time of There have been no open violations, open service requests related to smoke detectors, or known issues The smoke detectors in the affected building are currently triggered and audible.

In addition, members of the Birge & Held team visited vacant apartments, after getting the go-ahead from the fire department, to test smoke detectors. All detectors tested in vacant units worked properly.

Our team will continue to cooperate and work closely with firefighters and local authorities.

Additionally, in the event of an emergency, such as today’s incident, we always encourage our residents to contact emergency services by calling 911. Our after-hours emergency maintenance line can be reached by selecting a prompt when calling our community office and have verified that line is working.”

The American Red Cross helps displaced people. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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