Updated 10:50 a.m. DANVILLE — Officials are investigating a fire that damaged an eight-unit building in an apartment complex on the city’s northeast side early Friday morning.
Firefighters were called to the fire at Vermilion Garden Apartments, at 1213 Garden Dr., at 4:38 a.m. When they arrived, smoke was coming from the south side of Building 1230.
Danville fire Capt. Larry Jaggers said no one was injured. The fire has since been put out.
Jaggers said the fire damaged four units, and that a few others suffered some smoke and water damage.
Sisters Keyira Jones, 15, and Teoqua Orr, 11 said they and their mother, LaTanya Townsend, were asleep in their upstairs apartment when firefighters came in and told them they needed to evacuate the building.
“We didn’t know anything was wrong,” Teoqua said, adding her alarm clock rang and woke her up around 4 a.m., but then she went back to sleep. “I didn’t notice anything then.”
On the way out the door, Keyira said she noticed light smoke in her apartment.
In her downstairs apartment, Shanta Leonard said she was asleep when her phone woke her up at 4:43 a.m. She didn’t bother answering it, but then heard someone beating on her door.
Leonard said her 10-year-old daughter, Kiah, looked through the front door peep-hole, and saw the police standing outside in the hallway. She told her daughter to let them in.
“They said there was a fire in the building. We had to evacuate,” recalled Leonard, who made sure her daughter and 11-year-old son, Michael, grabbed their coats and got out safely. Her youngest child, Dymond Jackson, wasn’t at home at the time.
“You couldn’t smell anything until you stepped into the hallway,” Leonard continued. “Then you smell the fire, but you couldn’t see it.”
The complex’s assistant manager declined to comment on the fire.
Leonard said managers told her they would have to relocate her and the three other families that live on the south side of the building to other units. The American Red Cross also is assisting the families.