Two-alarm fire engulfs one apartment building near Carolina Stadium

Published: Jun. 13, 2013 at 4:22 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2013 at 4:22 AM EDT
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(Source: Josh Gandy)
(Source: Josh Gandy)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Twenty-one people have been displaced after an early morning apartment fire near Carolina Stadium in Columbia.

Around 45 to 50 firefighters from the Columbia Fire Department worked to extinguish that fire for approximately two hours.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Helms, at least one building was engulfed by what fire officials called a two-alarm fire at the Club at Carolina Stadium on Catawba Circle.

Twenty-four apartments in the 800 building were affected by the blaze that occurred just before midnight.

Neighbor Alex Baker was talking to a friend on the telephone when he heard screaming outside his apartment.

"Some woman was freaking out because I guess she lived in the building that was on fire and her friends were trying to calm her down," said Baker.

When he walked outside, Baker says he saw the tremendous blaze.

Austin Royal was home in his apartment just a few buildings down when the fire started. He says even though it spread quickly, some of the people living in the building did have time to get some of their belongings out.

"People were grabbing suitcases, it was just going nuts," said Royal.

Rod Godwin was one of the people who lived in the building. He says he woke up to someone banging on his door.

"Someone was banging on the door, so I looked out on the sun porch and all you saw was a big ball of orange fire," said Godwin.

Godwin and his neighbors all made it out of the building safely.

The American Red Cross says they will help anyone who was displaced by the blaze.

There were no reports of injuries.

Investigators have not yet determined what caused the blaze. The estimated damage to the building is $325,000.

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