From an Asheville Fire Department press release:
Units of the Asheville Fire Department responded to a reported residential structure fire at 23 Foxfire Drive, Turtle Creek Apartments on December 7, 2010 at approximately 2:00 am. The first arriving unit reported heavy smoke and soon after reported heavy fire conditions as well. AFD firefighters rescued 3 victims within the apartment complex, none reporting injuries. The fire required a 3 alarm response from AFD.
The fire spread through a common attic area and has severely damaged several apartment units within the structure. It took 50+ firefighters 1 hour and 15 minutes to bring the fire under control. The Asheville Fire Department was assisted by Skyland Fire Department, Buncombe County Rescue Squad, Reynolds Fire Department and Fairview Fire Department at the scene. Units from Riceville Fire Department assisted with standby crews within the City of Asheville to assist with further emergencies.
The American Red Cross is assisting with housing needs to those displaced.
The cause and origin of the fire is being investigated by the Arson Task Force at this time.
Units of the Asheville Fire Department spent most of the morning extinguishing hot spots, investigating and cleaning up after the Turtle Creek Apartments fire which broke out around 2 a.m. this morning. Thankfully, many units were called to the scene and together were able to extinguish the fire quickly avoiding what could have been a much more brutal outcome. Appreciation goes out to the many hands at work that performed rescues and extinguishment and to the fire wall which prevented the spread of the fire to the entire building. Because all aspects were present, lives undoubtedly were saved. Of the 30 units making up this section of apartments, only 15 were affected by fire due to the construction of the fire wall. Unfortunately 31 people have been displaced, but fortunately they have their lives. The cause of the fire is accidental and was due to unattended cooking. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home injuries. Please be mindful of today’s tragedy at Turtle Creek Apartments not only when cooking during the holiday season, but any time you are cooking. For helpful tips on cooking safety, please visit www.nfpa.org.