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UPDATE: The incident has been ruled an accidental cooking fire. According to Huntsville Fire & Rescue, accidental cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires nationally and in Huntsville.
Firefighters responded to a fire Wednesday afternoon at the Colonial Grand at Edgewater apartment complex on Grandeview Boulevard in Huntsville.
Two people were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The fire was at one building in the complex with 16 units inside. Eight units were impacted, and power was cut to the entire building. WAAY 31 talked to one woman who was home when the fire broke out. She said she did everything she could to help get everyone out safely.
"We made sure we went and knocked on every door. We made sure that everyone was out safe. And..It's just..It's crazy. Like we didn't think nothing like this would happen to us," said Brittney Yarbrough.
Investigators have started examining the scene to try to find out what caused this fire. They weren’t able to get in earlier, because the roof on one of the buildings collapsed. People who live on the side unaffected by the fire were escorted into their units to retrieve their belongings. Residents also gathered at the leasing office where the Red Cross was assisting the people who live in the building. Right now, they don’t expect anyone to be able to go back into their units overnight.
A fire official said the building does not have gas so they’re certain that wasn’t the cause. Nine Huntsville fire crews responded to the incident.
Fire crews were able to save one dog from the remains of one of the apartments, but they said other pets likely died in the inferno.
Leon Grant has lived in the colonial grand apartments for five years. His wife was home when the fire took over the building. She called him right away, and he rushed home from work.
"Driving from work to here you just have that feeling that everything is gone," said Grant.
His prized possessions from his homeland of Jamaica were burned to ashes, "There are pictures and stuff that I brought," said Grant.
Now he can't get those memories back, "That's the saddest part," said Grant.
For tonight, he and his wife will stay with family, but tomorrow brings the challenge of trying to start a-new. "The complex said they're contacting us tomorrow and they will try to put us in an apartment tomorrow," said Grant.
Grant said he knows several of his neighbors lost pets in the fire. It is incredibly sad, but he's trying to look on the bright side that everyone who lived in the building is alive. "That's the only thing I have, that nobody got hurt. So, we just have to stick together," said Grant.