The West Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross and staff at Avalon Apartments are working to help the families who were left without homes after one of the apartments off Cusseta Road caught fire Thursday.
Carol Donovan, regional property manager, said 21 families were displaced by water, smoke and fire damage after a building in the back of the complex caught fire at around 4 p.m. Thursday.
She said they are working with those residents and the Columbus Housing Authority to try and find homes for them. There are vacant apartments at Avalon and she said she expected they would be able to make those apartments available to families who wanted them in one to two weeks.
Red Cross volunteers were also out at the apartments Thursday and Friday, offering water and snacks to residents. Mitzi Oxford, development director for the West Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross, said they put up three families in a hotel.
The organization was prepared to set up a shelter at the Benning Road recreation center for other families, but Oxford said everyone they contacted had other living arrangements with relatives.
Investigators with Columbus Fire & EMS are still trying to determine the cause and origin of the blaze.
“Right now, it’s still under investigation,” said Battalion Chief Donnie Jones.
Jones said no one was injured in the blaze, including a Yorkshire Terrier discovered by a firefighter.
“It seemed to be good and healthy,” the battalion chief said. “It was returned to its owner.”
Firefighters responded to the blaze at 4:09 p.m. Thursday. They arrived minutes later to see fire and smoke coming from the top of one of the buildings, Jones said.
It took about an hour to control the fire, he added.