ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — An overnight fire destroyed an Albertville apartment building early Thursday morning.
Albertville firefighters responded to Governor’s Place Apartments around 1 a.m. Thursday, Deputy Fire Chief Brent Ennis said.
The fire started in a second-floor apartment, Ennis said. Firefighters were able to get it under control within about 25 minutes, but fire damage in the top units and water damage in the bottom made the building a total loss, he said.
Jaycee Wills lives next door to the apartment where the fire began.
She tells News 19 she was awoken by her sister and mother telling her to get out of the apartment because it was on fire.
“I was really confused and I was kind of emotionless I think because I didn’t really know what was going on, I’m still kind of groggy from sleeping and I’m staring at my apartment burning and there’s nothing I can do about, so it’s kind of like a mixed emotion of anger and confusion and kind of helplessness,” Wills told News 19.
“My mom was actually getting ready to leave, she had to go back to work. And had she left 10 minutes before it happened, me and my sister and the babies probably wouldn’t have made it because our back balcony doesn’t have stairs and the way it came in after we were already out was kind of starting in the front and working its way back so we would have either had to been out of luck or we would have had to jump and somehow gotten the babies down. So, thinking about that terrifies me but I’m just thankful that that wasn’t the outcome,” added Wills.
Wills tells News 19 she is thankful for the Red Cross and the community for rallying around them and donating clothes, food, and temporary housing.
Her family has a donation box set up ay the Microtel Inn and Suites in Albertville if anyone would like to help.
There is also a Facebook donation page.
Albertville police arrested Gregory Michael Belue, 53, for obstruction at the fire scene. Police Chief Jamie Smith said investigators believe the fire started in Belue’s apartment, and they believe he was under the influence when he was arrested.
There were four units in the building. Three were occupied, firefighters said. A total of seven people were affected. No one was injured.
The cause was under investigation.