Saturday night fire guts Dalton apartment building - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Saturday night fire guts Dalton apartment building

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) - Massive fire swept through a Dalton apartment complex Saturday night leaving several families without a place to live.

The fire broke out at the Legacy of Dalton Apartments around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday, eight families are homeless and sifting through the ashes to salvage anything they can.

"I saw smoke come out of this building behind me and then I heard people screaming," witness Ali Hamed said.

Ali Hamed said he tried to stop and help, but the flames were too big, so he waited for fire fighters to arrive. Then captured video on his phone.

It didn't take long to spread and destroy nearly everything in its path.

"Next thing you know it was fully engulfed on this end and the roof came in," fire victim Tony Harness said.

A top unit is where Tony Harness and Maegan Shaw live. They drove up to the scene shocked and thankful they weren't inside, but one thought came straight to their minds.

"Our wedding. We're getting married Saturday and everything for the wedding was in the house," Harness said.

Sorting through the piles of rubble Sunday, they discovered one thing that wasn't even touched by the fire, smoke or water. It was Maegan's wedding dress.

"It's a miracle and amazing and it's meant to be," fire victim Maegan Shaw said.

Fire investigators are still working to determine an official cause but think it could be electrical. All signs pointing to this side of the building where several air conditioning units sit.

Of the eight families displaced, four of them told Channel 3 they didn't have renter's insurance. Tony is a former Whitfield County volunteer firefighter and admits he should've known better, but won't make that mistake again.

"I've seen a lot of people lose their stuff. You never think about it happening to you though," Harness said.

Renters on the bottom units showed us that it's not the fire that got the best of their homes, but it's all the water that's ruined nearly everything they own.

The Red Cross did go out to the scene Saturday night. The effected families tell us they've been a big help in making sure they had food, clothes and shelter. Most are staying with family members.

Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield says the investigation will pick back up Monday morning.

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