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Investigators Probe Fire That Rekindled At Vacant Apartments

Investigators Probe Fire That Rekindled At Vacant Apartments

CREATED Jan 31, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fire investigators continue to probe a fire that flared up twice at a vacant apartment building, but said they do not think it was intentionally set.

Flames first erupted at the Villa Louise Apartments at the corner of Louise Avenue and State Street around 9:15 p.m. Thursday.

First responders arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the building with fire on the first and second floors. The fire was so intense that a second-alarm was called out. Crews left the scene about three hours later, after the fire was extinguished.

The blaze flared back up around 1:30 a.m. Friday while a contracting crew was still inside the building working to board up windows.

"My partner yelled out 'fire, fire! get out!' So me and the owner we ran down the stairs and it was that second window went up in blaze. The windows started busting it, it was instantaneous. It was like 'bam, bam, bam,'" said Sean Gerard with Case Restoration.

No one was hurt.

A district chief with the Nashville Fire Department said the building had been vacant after residents were forced out due to a broken pipe during a cold snap several weeks ago.

"This building was under renovations due to some flooding problems back on January 7th. At this time there was nobody living in the building," District Chief Chuck Hoover said.

Fire crews said several floors of the building collapsed as a result of the fire. The first and second floors of Villa Louise sustained heavy fire damage.

There was electric service to the building. 

Investigators were working to find the cause of the fire, and said that while the second fire may be due to a rekindle of materials, the fire remained under investigation.