Rossville condos go up in flames, elderly residents displaced - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rossville condos go up in flames, elderly residents displaced

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ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) - Flames tore through a row of North Georgia condos, leaving at least two of the families without a place to call home.

The fire happened Wednesday night at the Applebrook Condos in Rossville off Mack Smith Road. Two units were heavily damaged in the blaze.  The other two are considered moderately damaged. Those displaced are elderly and lost a lifetime of belongings.

Around 30 firefighters battled the blaze. Flames quickly spread through the two middle units. They're a total loss. No one was injured in the fire, but in the light of day residents are shocked to see pretty much everything they own turned to ashes

"My mother called me last night and told me she had bad news and her condo had burned all the way down and they had to just stand and watch it burn," Pam Patton said.

Rodney and Pam Patton are trying to salvage anything they can from her elderly parents' home. After 57 years of marriage, they're forced to start over. The couple hadn't seen the damage in daylight yet.

"It's amazing how quick something can go up," Pam said.

Their garage is the only thing left intact.

"It's just devastating. I just can't even comprehend what they're going through and I just hate it for them," Pam said.

All their clothes, furniture, and more than 75 years of pictures and momentoes are gone. One of the few items saved is a Bible. Pam is excited to show it to them.  

"God is alive. God is with us. God is good," the Pattons said.

They're thankful their lives were spared and that none of their neighbors were hurt either.

The 92-year-old man who lives next door says he was half asleep in his chair and didn't realize the place was on fire until the neighbor who lives on the other side of this fence ran over and banged on the door, telling him to get out. That man says he doesn't deserve credit, the firefighters do, but residents want to say thank you to both for saving their lives.

The homeowners are trying to focus on the positive as they start rebuilding their lives from scratch.

"The sad thing is they're going to have to find a place to live and start over. I mean buying everything," Pam said.   

The condo owners did have insurance. Some representatives were out Thursday surveying the damage. Fire investigators have not yet released the cause of the fire.
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