20 units damaged in Birmingham loft fire - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

20 units damaged in Birmingham loft fire

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Firefighters working at the scene. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC Firefighters working at the scene. Source: Anthony Moore/WBRC
An image from GoPro video of fire damage on the loft roof. An image from GoPro video of fire damage on the loft roof.
Resident L.J. Henderson says she narrowly escaped with her newborn son. Source: WBRC video Resident L.J. Henderson says she narrowly escaped with her newborn son. Source: WBRC video
Aerial image of the firefight. Source: Capture Fate Films Aerial image of the firefight. Source: Capture Fate Films
Aerial image of the firefight. Source: Capture Fate Films Aerial image of the firefight. Source: Capture Fate Films
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham fire officials say 20 units were damaged in a fire at the Libery House lofts on Thursday afternoon.

Half of the roof and elevator shaft are damaged. Three apartments have varying degrees of fire-related damage and 17 other units have smoke and water damage, Birmingham Fire Captain C.W. Mardis said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials believe it may have started on the roof or the elevator room.

The fire happened around 3 p.m. Thursday in the 2300 block of 1st Avenue North. No one was injured in the fire.

The Red Cross responded to help residents who were displaced by the fire. Several residents said they weren't aware that the building was on fire for some time.

L.J. Henderson says she was feeding her three-week-old son River on her bed, right below a skylight, when things took a turn for the worse.

"I heard what sounded like rain, saw ash and right when I grabbed him and moved it caved in, our ceiling caved in and our bed caught on fire," Henderson said.

She says the fact that he didn't wake up at his normal time Thursday may have saved their lives.

"He woke up way earlier than usual. I don't know if that was God telling us to get out or what," she said.

Will Gosnell says he was inside his loft, unaware of the flames on the roof. A call from a friend alerted him to danger.

"I looked outside and saw the fire trucks. Saw everyone gathering around so I came out," Gosnell said.

Residents were let back inside the building shortly before 6 p.m. All of the floors are flooded and some units, like Henderson's, have fire damage from collapsing skylights.

Many of the hallways have water damage, and most of the building is dark since the electricity was shut off. ServPro worked through the night to try to clean up the water damage in the building.

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