East Side Fire Displaces Several Families

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A fire at an apartment complex on the Far East side of the city forced seven families to find new places to stay on Saturday.

More than 40 firefighters battled a fire at the Jefferson Chase Apartments on Waggoner Road. The unit which caught fire was in the 8100 block of Equitana Way.

Fire officials received reports of the burning building shortly before 3 p.m. Witnesses said they smelled smoke and heard loud banging shortly before discovering flames shooting from an upper-story unit.

A pair of witnesses said they ran door to door to try to make sure everyone safely escaped.

"I was over looking at a car in the back, saw smoke and just ran over and started knocking on doors,  telling poeple to get out, Alan Phillips said.

"I could see flames on the patio. I ran upstairs, and nobody answered. So then I went around to all the other units to make sure everyone was out," Walt Medley said.

Fire investigators said a combination of high winds and fast-burning wood caused the fire to quickly spread. They said they were able to quickly extinguish it.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Red Cross of Greater Columbus was assisting families that were displaced by the fire, along with the loss of power and the water damage from putting out the flames.

Investigators indicated they did not believe the fire was suspicious in nature.

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