Seven homeless after Sunday fire

Published 10:05 am Monday, January 28, 2013

Firefighters battle a blaze at the Webb Commons in Franklin on Sunday. The fire left seven homeless. FRANK A. DAVIS/TIDEWATER NEWS



FRANKLIN—Seven Franklin residents were left homeless after a six-alarm Sunday fire that did significant damage to a two-story apartment building at Webb Commons.

The cause of the fire at 599 W. Second Ave. appears accidental, while the loss has been set at more than $100,000, said Franklin Deputy Fire Chief Mark Carr.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters were called to the apartment complex at 12:13 p.m. When they arrived, smoke was coming from both eaves of the building, Carr said.

“The fire had been burning for quite sometime before anyone noticed it,” he said.

Residents in the building’s two apartments were home and escaped without injury. One of the residents reported the fire after hearing popping from a stove.

It took an hour to bring the fire under control, Carr said. The fire is believed to have started in a wall shared by both apartments.

“Because of the location of the fire — hidden in the walls — we could not gain access,” he said about the inability to get to the blaze quickly.

The 60 firefighters remained on scene for four hours.

As for the injured, a female firefighter was treated and released from Southampton Memorial Hospital after cutting her hand with a piece of metal. A male firefighter was treated at the scene for burns.

Carr did not want to speculate on the cause, which he hopes to have later this week.

The American Red Cross is providing shelters for the residents. Carr did not have their names, but understands they had renters’ insurance.

Alvin Blow of Franklin owns the building.

Firefighters from Courtland, Sedley, Hunterdale, Carrsville and Windsor assisted.