An early morning fire Tuesday at the Harmony Meadows Apartments on South Cobb Drive destroyed 12 units and left eight families displaced.
Cobb firefighters received a call at 4:34 a.m. from 15-year-old Adriana Rodriguez, who said her 3-year-old sister’s bedroom was on fire. Cobb Fire Public Information Officer Denelle Boyd said the fire is still under investigation and its cause remains unknown.
Boyd said units were on the scene in six minutes, and in that time all residents had evacuated the complex, which was fully involved with flames shooting from the roof. Firefighters said they couldn’t verify whether the 3-year-old had a working fire detector in her bedroom because of the magnitude of the damage.
Courtesy officer Red Tate, who has lived in the complex for five years, was able to knock on doors and alert tenants of the flames, Boyd said.
Tate and Rodriguez served as spokespeople to the fire department, which faced a language barrier while tending to the complex’s residents, a majority of whom are Hispanic. Harmony Meadows Apartments has approximately 240 units.
Red Cross was on the scene early Tuesday morning to help residents, Boyd said.
“There is one unit available in the complex that will go to one of the families, and there’s a sister complex that will be able to take in more families,” Boyd said. “Between that and Red Cross everyone will be taken care of.”
Management at Harmony Meadows, owned by Harmony Properties, refused comment Tuesday.
Other complexes in Cobb County owned by Harmony Properties include Harmony Falls in Smyrna and Harmony Grove and Harmony Springs in Marietta. According to the Harmony Properties website, apartments carry monthly rental rates in the $300 to $500 range.
Residents worked Tuesday to remove important items from their homes.
One firefighter and the girls’ father were taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital for a knee injury and smoke inhalation, respectively.
The firefighter has been released, and the father was alert when taken to the hospital, Boyd said.