FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The Fort Wayne Fire Department said the Monday morning fire at the Tall Oaks Apartments began in the kitchen of a fourth-floor apartment unit.
Allen County Dispatch says they received calls about a fire at 7300 Decatur Rd. just before 11 a.m.
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Tall Oaks Apartments fire Feb. 24
Upon arrival, FWFD units say they found heavy smoke coming from the balcony of a residential unit on the fourth floor.
One adult was in the unit at the time of the fire and was evacuated without any injuries.
Residents on the first four floors of the apartment complex were evacuated.
Other residents on higher floors were told by FWFD to keep their doors shut if they did not need to evacuate to help contain the fire.
Chief Deputy Adam O’Connor said firefighters were able to save the building from further damage by pushing smoke out.
“The attack that the crew made on the fire pushing it out of the patio door is what really saved the rest of the apartment building from being affected,” O’Connor said.
In this case, the apartment door to the unit where the fire broke out was left open, which allowed significant smoke to fill numerous floors of the building.
“Anytime that you have a situation like that your neighbors are going to be better off when you shut the door to the hallway,” O’Connor said. “If you shut that door it will isolate the smoke so that we can take care of it as fast as possible.”
Tall Oaks residents were left on the sidewalk looking up as firefighters secured the building.
“Smoke is usually what kills people and it's damaging,” said Lani Roman, Tall Oaks resident. “I did laundry it's all on the couch and everything is going to be covered in smoke they say.”
The apartment that Roman calls home was just a floor above the fourth-floor unit that caught fire. Roman and other Tall Oaks residents hope their units are free of lasting smoke damage.
“I’m hoping my apartment is okay, that's what I'm hoping,” Roman said.
FWFD categorized the smoke and water damage done to the apartment as being moderate.
However, they say the fire damage done to the unit is considered significant.
The specific cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time.