A fire that started in a kitchen destroyed an apartment building in Norcross Tuesday evening.
Firefighters responded at 7:32 p.m. to a resident report of an apartment fire on the 2020 block of Rockbridge Court in unincorporated Norcross. The caller to 911 reported the alarms going off.
Crews arrived to find heavy flames showing from the roof and in the attic of a two-story, multiunit apartment building. All occupants were in the process of self-evacuation as fire trucks and police were arriving at the scene.
Firefighters deployed fire attack and water supply hose lines to combat the blaze. Crews made entry, but were forced out due to a partial roof collapse and rapidly deteriorating fire conditions. Crews eventually went back inside to extinguish the fire and to conduct overhaul operations.
The blaze caused heavy fire damage to the roof and extensive fire damage to eight individual apartment units. Four other units sustained residual smoke and water damage.
Two adults were assessed at the scene by paramedics for minor exposure to smoke. One adult was transported to the hospital for further medical evaluation and treatment. The American Red Cross was contacted to assist about 40 residents who have been displaced from the building.
A fire investigator responded to the scene to assist with origin and cause determination. The investigator ruled the blaze accidental due to a grease fire in the kitchen during cooking. According to investigators, an occupant of the apartment attempted to douse the fire with a portable extinguisher, but was unsuccessful.
Cooking is a leading cause of residential fires year-round. Firefighters encourage all residents to follow safe cooking practices and to supervise food on the stove or in the oven. Fire officials also advise residents to keep a portable fire extinguisher close at hand to douse a small fire.