MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — A large fire at an apartment complex in Mt. Juliet not only left a firefighter injured and many residents displaced, but it also caused millions of dollars in damages. Now, the community is working together to raise money for the people affected by Saturday afternoon’s blaze.
Officials said crews responded to the fire at Glass Creek Apartments around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12. However, they faced multiple challenges due to building construction, as well as the fact that the original caller reportedly said the fire was in the 1200 building, but it was later determined the fire was actually on the roof of the 400 building.
First responders said they evacuated the 400 building, along with the 500 building as a precaution.
Photos provided by News 2 viewers showed the roof of the apartment building engulfed in flames, with heavy smoke rising from the fire. City officials later revealed that lightning is believed to be the cause of the blaze.
During a media briefing, Capt. Tyler Chandler with the Mt. Juliet Police Department stated that the roof of the 400 building started collapsing while three firefighters were inside, injuring one member of the Mt. Juliet Fire Department.
As of Sunday, Aug. 13, the firefighter was in “critical, yet stable” condition at TriStar Skyline Medical Center, according to officials.
“We ask for your continued support and prayers and appreciate the privacy given to the injured firefighters’ family, friends, and coworkers at this time,” Interim Mt. Juliet Fire Chief Joey Edwards said.
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However, on Wednesday, Aug. 16, Mt. Juliet announced the first responder was “stable, with non-life-threatening injuries,” adding that he has been transitioned from an ICU to the burn unit. He has also been active, walking and talking with his family members, friends, and coworkers at his side.
“We are thankful that this recovery has progressed the way it has just four days since Saturday’s sustained injuries,” Mt. Juliet Fire Chief Mark Foulks said. “Please continue to keep our firefighter in your prayers and we thank you for the privacy given to him and his family.”
News 2 received a copy of the Mt. Juliet Fire Department’s incident report for the Glass Creek Apartments fire on Thursday, Aug. 17. According to that report, the estimated property value is more than $3.1 million while the estimated content value is just under $940,000, but officials calculated the cost of the property losses as $2 million and the cost of the content losses as $250,000.
The Red Cross responded to the scene Saturday to help with housing for the displaced residents from the 400 building’s 24 units.
MJ 4 Hope, a nonprofit organization, has also started a relief fund for those who lost their homes in the blaze. If you would like to make a contribution, you can visit the MJ4Hope website or send checks to MJ4Hope’s mailing address: 1483 N Mt. Juliet Road #175, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122.
According to officials, city and police resources are coordinating with MJ4Hope with the needs assessment and verifications.
“Monetary / financial contributions are the fastest, most flexible, most direct, and most effective method of donating and assisting affected residents,” Justin Beasley, the public information officer for the City of Mt. Juliet, said in a Sunday afternoon statement. “Used clothing, items, and donated goods can place an undue burden on affected residents already in crisis because it doesn’t specifically address their needs.”
In addition, Taylor Givens with the Mt. Juliet Police Department and Chaplains Wink and Pattie with the Mt. Juliet Fire Department have tried to contact all of the residents impacted by the fire, so if you haven’t spoken with them, you are encouraged to do so.
The investigation into Saturday’s blaze is still ongoing.