BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An apartment fire Thursday morning off Valley Avenue left 38 residents homeless. There were 20 units affected and five were destroyed.
“I heard the smoke detectors going off and smelled something burning,” Justin Cornett said.
It was around 8:30 a.m. at Valora at Homewood apartments. Cornett was leaving for work. An apartment worker noticed there was a fire in the walls or ceiling of an unused apartment, and everyone jumped into action.
“I immediately called 911, ran inside to get my mom out and had the other neighbors go in and start pulling everyone out as fast as possible,” Cornett said.
The Birmingham Fire Department quickly arrived with 30 firefighters. Their first priority making sure everyone was safe.
“Initially that is always our priority is fire safety. So initially when we come in, the first thing we want to do is make sure the building is evacuated and that all humans are accounted for,” Chief Sebastian Carrillo said.
The American Red Cross helped get places for people to stay. Hatching Hope Foundation provided blankets and pet supplies for those who needed it. The apartment hopes to relocate those who lost their home into other units.
“When the time comes, you don’t worry about your possessions. It’s really just getting people out and making sure everyone is safe. It’s really all you are worried about,” Cornett said.
The investigation into the fire continues. All of those who need a place to stay should have one Thursday night. On Friday they will start working on what they will do next.