published Saturday, March 5th, 2011

East Ridge apartment fire displaces 40 families

Forty families are housed today in the Brainerd Recreation Center after a fire in their apartment building, East Ridge authorities said.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that attacked the Ridge Terrace Apartments at 915 South Seminole Drive, public safety spokesman Erik Hopkins said in a news release.

The fire was reported at 1:15. Firefighters from East Ridge found heavy smoke and flame coming from the three-story complex when they arrived. They evacuated residents and sent out three alarms to get extra manpower and equipment to the scene and to cover the rest of the city, Hopkins said.

The fire is believed to have started in a common storage area below apartment 26 and spread through a breezeway before firefighters brought it under control.

Help came from Catoosa County, Fort Oglethorpe, Red Bank, Rossville, Hamilton County Rescue, Tri-Community and Walker County. Lifeguard EMS also responded.

The American Red Cross and the Hamilton County Emergency Services opened a shelter at the Brainerd Recreation Center for the displaced families.

East Ridge fire and arson investigators are working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

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