The Lafayette Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of a structure fire on Sunday afternoon, October 31st, at Jackenary Lane, off Akersville Road, that virtually destroyed the Autumn Chase Apartment complex, which were owned by Steve Walker of Lafayette and Ricky Dixon, of Smith County, with damages estimated between $200,000 and $250,000.

According to Chief Keith Scruggs, upon arrival at 4:17 p.m., heavy fire was coming from the laundry room, extending up into the roof assembly, eventually consuming the entire roof of the eight unit building. “We had 32 firefighters at the scene who utilized two city engines, three service trucks, breathing apparatus and basically every piece of equipment that we had,” Chief Scruggs said. “We used over 20,000 gallons of water as we battled the flames for several hours and luckily no one was injured.”

“I suspect the fire started from discarded smoking material,” Scruggs noted, “and two firemen along with an engine remained at the scene all night due to hot spots, and also to insure the safety of the property that we were able to salvage. I contacted the Red Cross after the fire was under control to ask for assistance and they arrived at the site early Monday morning. Case workers immediately began assisting the displaced victims, offering them short term lodging, food, clothes and personal items. Other local volunteer agencies, including Macon Helps have also been working with the apartment occupants. Only five of the eight units was occupied, but the ten residents and several pets escaped uninjured, and the complex was insured.”

“Once again my team did a wonderful job, working tirelessly until the fire was out. This courageous group of firefighters didn’t give up in light of the dangerous circumstances and they always strive to save lives and protect property. I would put my own life in the hands of these men and I can rely on them morning, noon and night.”

Those responding to the scene included the Lafayette Fire Department, Macon County Chronicle, Macon County Sheriffs Department, Macon County EMS, and the Lafayette Police Department.