At about 12:45 pm, Tuesday, March 1, 2011, firefighters from the District Heights area responded to a report of an apartment fire with people trapped. Upon arrival at 6850 Walker Mill Road, fire/EMS units found a 2-1/2 story in the front-3 stories in the rear-flat roof- garden style apartment building with heavy fire showing from a top floor unit.
Four occupants attempted to exit the building via the enclosed interior stairwell , however, encountered thick smoke and intense heat. The second floor occupants sought relief and retreated to the balcony on the rear of the building. They sheltered-in-place and were assisted by firefighters using ground ladders.
A "second alarm" was sounded bringing a total of about 60 firefighters to the scene on-board 20 pieces of fire/EMS apparatus. It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported.
There are six apartment units in this building and all occupants will be displaced. There are about 12 adults and 7 children that reside in the building. They are being assisted by the Fire/EMS Department's Citizen Services Unit and apartment complex management for living arrangements. Regency Lane Apartment Complex management will temprorialy house displaced occupants in a nearby motel. The American Red Cross is providing relief in the form of food coupons and clothing. Management will soon be able to place displaced occupants with other apartments within the complex.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Preliminary fire loss is estimated at about $150,000.