4-alarm fire displaced more than 100 people on Chef Highway

3-alarm fire reported at apartment complex off Chef Highway

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Fire Dept. remains on scene Thursday morning after a 4-alarm fire displaced more than 100 residents of an apartment complex Wednesday night.

The fire started at the Gentilly Ridge Apartments around 7 p.m. in the 6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway near the intersection of Downman Road.

01/13/2021. 4- Alarm Fire. Chef & Downman Road. Photos by Chief C Mickal, NOFD Photo Unit.

Posted by New Orleans Fire Department on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

“We don’t know how the fire started,” Interim Superintendent Roman Nelson of the New Orleans Fire Department said Wednesday night. “There are 104 units and 90 are occupied and there is a section in the back that may still be habitable.”

Firefighters called for a second alarm due to the size of the building and the number of occupants living inside at the time of the fire.

Firefighters started a primary search and began evacuating residents with the assistance of the New Orleans Police Department.

“The evacuation of a complex this size was already a daunting task, but the addition of active fire consuming both sides of the complex increased the danger exponentially,” the NOFD said.

The building was constructed with concrete fire walls in the attic to halt the spread of fire in the event a blaze like this occurred. However, the fire burned so hot and spread so quickly even extending to units on the opposite side of the shared courtyard, the fire walls were not effective.

A third and fourth alarm were struck at to assist with manpower as well as dispatching additional aerial units to attack the fire from above.

There are no reports of any civilian or firefighter injuries at this time.

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