Image: Josh Gandy via Twitter
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia firefighters say a late night fire at an apartment complex destroyed nine units and caused $325,000 in damage.
The blaze happened around 11:55 p.m. at The Club at Carolina Stadium, which is on Catawba Circle. Those units are just behind the USC baseball field, in an area near Granby Park.
Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Helms says the blaze damaged the 800 building, a three-story structure that contained 24 apartment units.
Philip Ingerson was one of the 21 residents displaced by the blaze, he is thankful for the bravery of a good samaritan.
Ingerson said, "I was asleep and luckily some guy came through just banging on the doors, no fire alarms went off or nothing, he came and banged on my door and I was dead asleep."
According to Ingerson, "He woke me up and I went to the door and realized the whole place was on fire and smoke just came into the apartment."
"The guy that came by and banged on everyone's door saved a lot of lives, because a lot of people wouldn't have gotten up, I would have slept right through it and burnt," said Ingerson.
Tony Wilson was the man residents are calling a hero, he was visiting his fiancee when he saw the fire ripping through the roof.
Wilson said, "Right now I am so upset, I am thankful I was able to get my fiancee out and I got other people out and a little girl out and a little dog out, right now I don't know what is going on man."
It took crews until just after 2 a.m. to get the fire under control, with approximately 50 firefighters dispatched to assist.
No injuries were reported.
The Red Cross is assisting people displaced by the blaze. Anna Kate Twitty with the Red Cross says her organization is helping about 21 people who were forced out of their homes find food and shelter.
Fire officials say the blaze appears to have been concentrated in the attic. The cause of the fire is under investigation.