Man jumps from window as 'intense' fire rips through DeKalb Co. apartment

Man jumps to escape fire

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Half a dozen metro-area families are without a home Saturday morning after a large fire tore through a DeKalb County apartment complex.

According to officials, the fire broke out at The Crossing at Henderson Mill Apartments on Lansbury Village Drive shortly after 5 a.m. 

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the downstairs floor of the burning units. Flames had already engulfed the second floor. Video captured by crews on scene shows flames shooting from the roof of the cluster of apartments.


Smoke billowed from the windows of several units and some residents made desperate attempts to escape to safety, including one man who tried to jump from a second floor window and landed on his back. (NOTE: minor language)


11Alive's Erin Calandra was on scene of the fire and spoke to a witness who saw the man jump.  

"I saw a plume of smoke coming out of the door and I saw everyone running out of the building," Jonathan Brewer said. "Then we noticed a gentleman at the top where the ladder is. He jumped out of the building and he was freaking out."

Brewer, who was sleeping when the fire began, told 11Alive the scene was "chaotic." He described the thick smoke and said at some point the ceiling started giving way.

"You just started feeling the actual heat from the fire and we're about 40 feet away from it, but you can feel the intensity of it,"Brewer said. "It was crazy. I was honestly just hoping everyone got out OK."

At this time, DeKalb County fire officials do think everyone got out OK and that no one was seriously injured, but at least 14 people have been displaced. The Red Cross is now providing those people with emergency aid.

DeKalb County Fire Rescue's Capt. Eric Jackson called the damage "extensive" and said the apartments were no longer inhabitable.

"From the second floor to the third floor to those basement apartments," he said.

No cause has been determined yet.

Photos from the scene


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