Tenn. Firefighter Hurt, Families Displaced by Blaze

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --

A two-alarm apartment fire near Percy Priest Lake displaced four families and caused extensive damage to 13 units in Hermitage on Friday.

The fire occurred at the Oakwell Farms apartments, near Nashville Shores and Percy Priest Lake. Crews were called to the complex at about 11:30 a.m.

A firefighter had to be taken to Vanderbilt Medical Center with minor burns to his face and hands but was later released, according to Kim Lawson of the Nashville Fire Department. All residents escaped safely.

The top unit was burned out, and there was extensive damage to the roof. Fire officials said they think the fire started in one apartment unit where a cigarette was left burning on a balcony and spread to 12 others, destroying four. The damage was extensive, but fire crews said it could have been worse.

"(It is) very fortunate that this fire occurred in the daytime," Lawson said. "There were a lot of people out, moving about."

"We were probably 20 feet from the fire. You could hear glass shattering, and flames started to shoot out," said ChaCorey Davis, who spotted smoke from his apartment nearby.

Neighbors said the couple who live in the home where the fire started just had their first child. The families forced out of their homes are staying with relatives.

The Nashville Red Cross provided food, clothing, and counseling assistance to the affected residents. The organization said they have responded to more than 14 residential fires within the past seven days.

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