Underwood Lodge Fire Ruled Accidental

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DALTON, Georgia (WDEF)- Nearly 40 residents in Dalton are without a place to stay after a fire broke out early Sunday morning at the Underwood Lodge.

According to officials, the fire started on the second floor of the building. They say that two units are completely burned and there are several more with smoke and water damage. Residents say that they were woken up by other neighbors in other buildings yelling fire.

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Duhstin Crittenden says, ” I was just knocking on each door like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. A couple gave me a hug and said I just want to let you know that you blessed us. Look at our room, look at our room you know what I mean. When you woke us up, when didn’t know what was going on, we just came to the door and just saw flames, flame. That’s just how God works.”

Anthony Higgins almost lost everything.

Higgins says, “It’s just a scary feeling when your getting woke up and the only thing your seeing is your complex is on fire and I thank God gave us the opportunity to get out alive.”

No one was injured.

The fire department has completed their investigation.

They determined that the fire was accidental and the smoke detectors WERE working properly.

Bruce Frazier, the city of Dalton’s Communications Director says, “Our fire department annually inspects all of the multi-family dwellings in the city. That’s going to be all of the apartment complexes. They performed an inspection of this building in April of last year. When they re-inspected, they did a spot inspection and everyone of the units that they inspected had a operating smoke detector inside.”

The Red Cross is lending a hand to 32 of the 38 residents that need assistance.

Each family has their own case worker.

The Executive Director of the Northwest Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross, Leigh Brock-Barba says, “In an addition to the emotional support, our red cross disaster workers provide emergency resources for the essentials like lodging, food, and clothing. We also help with replacement of things like medications according to the needs.”

Investigators are not sure what caused the fire.

If you would like to help those residents, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or click here.