A cigarette that wasn’t fully extinguished led to a fire Wednesday night at the gay-friendly Ansley Forest Apartments that has displaced some 40 residents, according to the Atlanta Fire Department.
The two-alarm blaze reportedly started on the third floor of building M and quickly spread to the roof, according to Atlanta Fire Department spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford.
The fire was intense enough to require some 50 firefighters hours to extinguish it, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Five units were ruined in building M, but damage to the building will prevent any of the 12 units from being used.
Firefighters began evacuating residents upon arrival, but many residents were already evacuated thanks to neighbors alerting them.
The Red Cross is working with those affected by the fire to provide shelter, food and clothing. The complex’s management team is also working on a plan for affected residents.
Ansley Forest has served as home to many members of Atlanta’s LGBT community over the decades since it first opened. The complex completed lengthy renovations last year that transformed the exteriors and interiors of the buildings after decades spent largely unchanged.
Investigators have determined the cause was accidental, and no charges will be filed.