Woman hurt in apartment fire, building didn't have sprinklers

IRMO, SC (WIS) - A woman sustains a serious leg injury after jumping from a burning apartment building on New Year's Eve.

Crews got a call just before 11:30pm that one of the buildings in the Stoneycreek apartment complex on Berryhill Road was on fire. Fire Marshal Jeff Allen said there were also reports that some people might be injured. "There were a couple of people that came out of the second floor window," stated Allen, "There was so much fire going up the stairwell they weren't able to exit the door."

When firefighters got to the scene, they found smoke coming from the rear of one of the buildings. "Flames were just shooting out of the roof of that building," said neighbor Barry Goen. Neighbors said they watched as the flames left three units in ruins and severely damaged others. The flames even singed nearby bushes and melted a street lamp several feet away.

Allen said the fire appears to have started in the kitchen of a first floor apartment before spreading to two apartments on either side. He explained the flames then extended up to the second floor and an attic space over two or three more apartments.

It took crews about an hour to get the fire under control.

Allen stated that the cause of the fire appears to have started from unattended cooking, but he did explain that having sprinklers in the apartment complex would have helped. "One sprinkler head, maybe two may have contained the fire if not extinguished it," claimed Allen. He went on to say that the complex was built prior to any requirements of having a sprinkler system put in.

Allen said the injured woman is expected to be all right. The fire caused about $525,000 in damages.

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