‘I heard popping, then a loud boom!’ Woman who escaped dangerous fire at apartment complex describes scary blaze

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NEW ORLEANS– A dangerous fire at an Uptown apartment complex took hours for New Orleans firefighters to get under control.

Firefighters arrived on scene at 8:43 p.m. August 31, in the 1600 block of Washington Avenue and Carondelet Street in Central City. The building, a two-story brick apartment complex, was heavily engulfed in flames.

A second alarm was immediately called and a third alarm was called in around 9:25 p.m. The NOFD was able to get the fire under control around 11:09 p.m., but crews were still working to completely extinguish the flames into Tuesday morning.

Brandon Jones who lives nearby witnessed the fire, “Everything was intense. The flames were very high. I’ll be praying for the families that hopefully they come through this o.k.”

The complex contains 25 units. Only 20 of those units were occupied at the time with 26 residents now displaced.

While Brandon saw the fire, Paulette Flagge survived and escaped the fire. She’s the apartment complex’s longest tenant—living there since 2006.

“I was laying in bed and I smelled smoke. Something was burning, I heard popping and then a boom. I came out and the firemen were already in the complex,” she said.

Today, you’ll see blown out windows, broken glass, and a charred roof, as the 26 residents who all luckily survived are just trying to pick up the pieces.

“Very scary. People were in a panic and screaming. I’m just grateful and thankful that no one was hurt,” she said.

The American Red Cross was on scene to assist those whose units were damaged, offering them housing vouchers, food, clothing and information for long-term assistance.

“We know disasters don’t stop and for someone who experienced a home fire, that disaster doesn’t feel small. It feels life-changing, and we are dedicated to be there for anyone affected by a disaster,” Katy Sandusky with the American Red Cross said.

No injuries were reported by the NOFD, but one resident’s dog died in the fire.

NOFD and ATF continue to investigate the cause of the blaze.


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