A fire broke out at The Chalet apartment complex (1301 17th Avenue S.) at approximately 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. The entire building suffered heavy damages. At least one person was hospitalized.
Birmingham Police reported that the fire is currently contained and will not likely spread to neighboring houses and buildings.
“At this point our main concern is putting the rest of the fire out and making sure everyone is safe,” B.P.D. officer K. King said.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue attempted to put out the blaze using a crane for more than two hours. Alabama Power Company arrived on the scene and at 3:30 p.m. cut power to that block of Southside in the UAB Highlands neighborhood. The 12th Street entrance to 17th Avenue was blocked off by B.P.D.
Residents of the Chalet reported that they believe the fire started as a kitchen fire.
As ash and water fell from the sky, a man held his head in his hands and spoke hurriedly about what he lost in the blaze: boxes of books and a work uniform. Another woman and her children stood to the side with a small dog at their feet.
“He’s looking for comfort,” the woman explained as the dog approached with its head bowed and tail cautiously wagging.
Bystanders and neighbors of the Chalet looked on, some offering comfort to those around them and many capturing images and video of the fire with their cellphones.