Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia firefighters say a fire caused heavy damage at an apartment complex Thursday.
The fire, which began just after 10 a.m., took place at the Hampton Greene Apartments on Gills Creek Parkway. That residence is just off Garners Ferry Road. More than 50 firefighters responded to the call, sending 3 ladder trucks to the apartments.
Flames could be seen coming from a second level apartment.
Fire officials have told News19 there are no injuries from the fire. Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins tells us that a resident who was just moving into the complex had several boxes on the back porch. She went outside and noticed the boxes were on fire. Investigators are not sure what may have caused those boxes to catch fire.
Eight units were damaged--4 of them damaged by the fire, the other 4 on the lower level were damaged by the water used to fight the fire.
People in eight other units were also displaced because of a loss of power.
Damages are estimated between $250,000-$300,000. Chief Jenkins says the complex did not have sprinklers in the building and it does not have fire walls that help slow down spreading flames.
Late Thursday, Bell Partners, which manages the complex, released this statement:
"We are very appreciative of the prompt and effective response by the Columbia Fire Department which limited the damage to 16 apartments, affecting approximately 20 residents. Thankfully, no residents were injured. On behalf of the community, we want to thank the Columbia firefighters for their bravery and professionalism in containing the fire.
"The residents, who have been displaced by the fire, are being assisted by the Red Cross with temporary housing. We are also making any empty apartments at the community available to these individuals. At this point, it is too early to determine how long it will take to repair and rehabilitate the affected apartments. Our goal is to complete repairs as quickly as possible, with the least disruption to the community. "