Arab downtown apartment fire ruled accidental

Credit: City of Arab Fire Department

No one was hurt in the fire.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 9:59 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2019 10:02 PM

An apartment building fire on downtown Arab's Main Street has been ruled accidental, according to the Arab Fire Department.

The fire started Saturday in a second floor apartment and then spread to two businesses below. No one was hurt, but the fire left several people displaced and businesses with fire, smoke and water damage.

Investigators with the Arab Fire Department, Marshall County Arson Task Force and the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office spent Wednesday combing through debris and ruble. They determined the fire started from an electrical short or failure in a circuit that provided power to the HVAC system for the businesses.

The department says the fire began inside the rear wall of the building and spread into the area between the first and second floors. Investigators also learned a natural gas pipe in the same area was inside the wall that failed and helped to fuel the fire. 

Fire crews responded Saturday after a resident called 911. Arab Fire says she then began going door to door, alerting others of the fire. The department says this allowed for them all to escape unharmed.

WAAY 31 spoke to a couple who lived in the apartments. They said they’re going to be displaced indefinitely. Red Cross put them in a hotel, but they’re now looking for relief funds and a new home.

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