Investigators working to determine cause of Huntsville apartment fire

Firefighters cleared the top level of the building, meaning everyone is accounted for.

Posted: May 29, 2019 2:02 PM
Updated: May 29, 2019 7:25 PM

UPDATE: (5:45 p.m.)

The fire that tore through 15 apartments in Huntsville left at least 20 people without a home.

In the last hour, firefighters have started letting some people back in to get their belongings on the side of the apartment complex with the least amount of damage. 

People who live in the most damaged apartments might not ever be able to get back in. It all hinges on what the investigators say and what the property owners decide to do next.

Fourteen of the fifteen units affected were occupied before being destroyed. 

Milky Way, the cat who was rescued by firefighters, is expected to be okay. WAAY 31 talked to his owner's mother about how it all happened.

"We thought Milky Way had ran out with us. Apparently, he didn't. He turned back and went inside and somehow, the wonderful firefighters were able to find him. He has no damage. He's a little singed. He's a little upset, but other than losing three lives, he's alright," said Misty Harris.

Even though most crews are gone,  firefighters say they might be at the scene until later into Wednesday night. Right now, we're waiting to see what caused the fire, and Red Cross is assessing.

For some new fire department recruits, this was their first Huntsville fire. After the fire had died down, eight new recruits, who start officially on Monday, helped out. These firefighters are certified and most have already worked in other smaller fire departments.

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(4:40 p.m.) 

Fire trucks have left the scene, and fire investigators will head in to determine the cause of the fire on Meridian Street.

Firefighters cleared the top level of the building, meaning everyone is accounted for.

One person had smoke-related injuries, but is expected to be okay. A cat was rescued.

The fire started and was put out in the last 3 hours. It did bleed into the field behind the building, but that fire is now out as well.

Traffic is flowing on Winchester Road and Meridian Street.

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(2:05 p.m.)

Firefighters are battling a fire at Magnolia Place Apartments, 102 Winchester Rd NE, Huntsville.

The apartments are near Alabama A&M University.

The Huntsville Fire Department said 15 units in Building C are impacted by the fire that started about 1:30 p.m.

There is an approximately one-quarter-acre grass fire behind the apartments.

The department said two Alabama A&M officers saw smoke from down the street and started knocking on doors. All tenants have not been accounted for yet.

The Huntsville Police Department has closed Winchester Road both eastbound and westbound between Meridian Street and Memorial Parkway.

Please use alternate routes.

Police say tenants and parents are to wait at the Wavaho at Meridian Street and Winchester Road.

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