Nearly 30 residents displaced after Fairfield apartment fire, blaze classified as “suspicious”

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: The fire has been classified as “suspicious,” according to Fairfield Fire Chief Kevin Sutton. The blaze is pending further investigation from Fairfield Police and Fire investigators.

Meanwhile, at Fairfield City Hall, donations for the fire victims have piled up quickly.

“This is almost, maybe a small store worth of clothing and things,” said Mayor Ed May II.

May said he’ll meet with managers of the Wellington Place Apartments Tuesday to discuss how to properly distribute the clothing, toiletries, food, toys and accessories that now fill the basement of city hall.

Newly-elected City Councilor Herman Carnes organized the donation drive. The apartments are in his district.

Carnes said donations are still being accepted, and there’s a great need for toiletries and toys for children.

“The response has been just what we hoped,” May said. “And I want to say to the citizens of Fairfield directly, how much we appreciate that type of neighbor-to-neighbor sentiment that’s been expressed here.”

ORIGINAL: Around 30 people are out of their homes after an early morning apartment fire in Fairfield Saturday.

Fairfield fire Chief Kevin Sutton says crews were called to Wellington Place on Forest Drive between 1 and 1:30 a.m.

Resident James Bell tells CBS 42 news he was staying in one of the upper units when the fire started.

“My neighbor came and knocked on the door and told me to get out because the apartment was on fire,” said Bell

Bell got out safely.

“The whole sky was lit up, all you could see is fire,” said Bell.

Bell said the roof on his unit is gone. He just bought Christmas gifts for his grandchildren.

“Material things can be replaced but life is precious and only one chance,” said Bell.

Bell and the other people who were displaced stayed at city hall until the Red Cross gave them debit cards to use for hotel rooms. Bell spoke with management at the apartments.

“They will let us transfer to another property, they have two or three properties so they said we can move all transfer to a sister property if we choose too,” said Bell.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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