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CFD investigating fire at apartment building

Scene of an apartment fire in downtown Charlottesville
Scene of an apartment fire in downtown Charlottesville(WVIR)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 12:16 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many people living at Charlottesville Towers apartments will not be able to sleep in their own beds tonight after a fire broke out in during the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 13.

Dozens woke up to a fire alarm around 4:30 a.m.

“I looked out in the hallway and I saw a lot of smoke. I closed the door and called 911, and they were very clear, and they said get out,” resident Aurora Nichols said. “Opening the door out into the hallway, the smoke hit, like doubled.”

Everyone was able to get out safely.

Charlottesville Fire Marshal Joe Phillips says the fire started on the first floor.

“We had the fire under control within about an hour-and-a-half, but we spent a lot of time afterwards getting the smoke gasses out of the building so that it’d be safe for people to be able to go in and retrieve items,” Phillips said. “We’re working closely with the property management company in order to restore some of the systems so that they’ll be able to move back in, but it may be a couple of days.”

Nichols says this the second fire she has experienced in her five years living at Charlottesville Towers. The last one taught her how to be prepared.

“I tried to keep my keys and wallet and glasses, and now a mask right by the front door. Kept my shoes ready to go, just as a general thing, and if you have any personal items like medication, kind of know where they are,” she said. “Take what you can, but don’t don’t spend a lot of time looking for stuff because it’s more important that you get out safely.”

The Red Cross says it is working with the Charlottesville Fire Department to help those displaced.

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