Apartment blaze destroys 12 units, displaces 8 families
by Bridgette Bonner
March 27, 2013 12:21 AM | 3321 views | 5 5 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An early morning fire damaged 12 apartment units and left eight families displaced Tuesday at the Harmony Meadows Apartments on South Cobb Drive in Marietta.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
An early morning fire damaged 12 apartment units and left eight families displaced Tuesday at the Harmony Meadows Apartments on South Cobb Drive in Marietta.
Staff/Laura Moon
Ronald Navarro removes belongings Tuesday afternoon from his fire-damaged apartment.<br>Staff/Laura
Ronald Navarro removes belongings Tuesday afternoon from his fire-damaged apartment.

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.

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March 29, 2013
I want to know how people that are regular citizens come up with the numbers of which Hispanic is illegal and which Hispanic is legal. The majority of them are legal in case you didn't know. I want to know again how illegals are identified by regular Joe and Jill Citizen.
Pat H
March 27, 2013
Why was the call and spokesperson a 15 year old? Where are the parents? Where are child protective services when the parents are not home at 4:34 am?

We have more of a problem than a language barrier at the complex after a fire. Apparently, donating to the Red Cross enables illegal aliens to receive benefits they are not entitled to receive.

If the fire was from a space heater not properly used, then these people need to be deported.
March 29, 2013
Another negative rant. Maybe the parents were at work. You know some people DO work at night. A 15-year-old is perfectly able and legal to babysit a 3-year-old. No child protective services needed there.
mk-the truth
March 27, 2013
These are illegal alien apartments. The whole swath of South Cobb Drive is an illegal alien gateway.

Windy Hill is an illegal alien gateway.

This is the very reason Smyrna & other areas are being left behind economically.

Much of South Cobb including Smyrna, Marietta, Austell, Mableton & Poweder Springs house & shelter illegal aliens, their families & their anchor babies.

As long as they are kept out (priced out) of Vinings & East Cobb,.. they will be allowed to live in these poor areas and live off the taxpayers dime.

They find shelter, false documents and jobs, including county jobs, while being brought into our state and routed through the right channels.

March 27, 2013
You are correct. The sad thing is that no one in our local, state, or federal governments is willing to do anything about it. In fact, our federal government is working to give them all citizenship. Probably for the most part, these are people who WANT to work and work hard. I don't like the fact that illegal immigrants swarm here, but I can't help but be sympathetic as well. I have seen with my own eyes people in Mexico living in the hills, under rocks. A woman, a baby, a fire and a pig all living under a rock outcropping. Of course they would take the chance, risking their lives, to come here. Sigh.
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