A complex at Club Hill Apartments on Warm Springs Road and a home on Charleston Avenue were damaged in separate fires Saturday afternoon.
No one was injured in the fires, but four residents at the 2840 Warm Springs Road apartment complex were moved to other units because of smoke and water damage. At 909 Charleston Ave., the American Red Cross was called to assist the Rev. Alford Banks and wife, Teresa, who split time at homes in Columbus and Fort Gaines.
At the apartment complex, firefighters found the two-story building with heavy smoke pouring from an upstairs apartment. It took firefighters about 15-20 minutes to get the fire under control, said Capt. Tim Price of the Columbus Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
“We evacuated the apartments on the side of anything like this,” Price said. “We got them all taken care of.”
No damage estimate or cause of the fire was available as the investigation continued.
Banks said he was at a home cutting grass when his neighbor called and told him his house was on fire.
Battalion Chief Glen Bahde said firefighters found heavy fire and smoke from the back side of the building when they responded to the 5:06 p.m. fire call. Firefighters had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. Firefighters were pulled out of the structure when there was concern about building. “We are still here now trying to get hot spots,” Bahde said an hour after the fire started.
Banks said the fire burned his clothes and he wondered how he would preach at the Salem Primitive Baptist Church in Talbotton on Sunday.
“I will go if I have to go like this,” said Banks, wearing a yellow T-shirt and gray pants. “I know what God’s done for me.”
Officials said the fire caused about $40,000 in damage to the structure and contents.
Banks suspects the fire may have been ignited by a faulty electrical cord plugged into an air condition unit.
“I had a heavy duty cord plugged into the air condition,” he said. “Sometimes, it gets a little warn. I turned it on today.”