Firefighters met with dry hydrants as massive fire tore through Clayton County apartments, residents say

Almost three dozen people were left without a home after flames tore through a Clayton County apartment on Wednesday evening. Firefighters spent several hours battling the massive blaze.

The first reports of the fire came in around 7:25 p.m. Fire crews were dispatched to the Ashford at Stone Ridge apartments off Flat Shoals Road.

This image, provided by a resident at the Ashford at Stone Ridge apartments, shows a building shortly after a massive fire broke out on June 1, 2022.

This image, provided by a resident at the Ashford at Stone Ridge apartments, shows a building shortly after a massive fire broke out on June 1, 2022. (Viewer photo)

A spokesperson with the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services said crews arrived at the scene and immediately began evacuating the burning building. Firefighters said they found heavy flames shooting from the two-story apartment structure.

Several residents told FOX 5 that firefighters were having issues with the fire hydrants in the complex. 

"When everybody did get out and the fire department or whatever did come, they was like 'ain't no water.' You know, the fire hydrant is dry. So, they had to go across the road and get some water from somewhere else, but the fire wasn't even that bad. It would have maybe been just one or two apartments." said Shalaya, who lives in the building. "The handicapped apartment, the alarm didn't even go off, nothing."

"When they first got here, with the water they did have on the truck, they stopped the fire, and then they ran out of water and they tried to hook up to a fire hydrant and there wasn't no water," said Chester Jackson.

Jackson said they had hoses stretched from the building, through the complex and out the front gates.

"They were pumping in water from way down the road, through the gates from one fire truck to another fire truck to get here to put this fire out," said Jackson.

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Fire crews battle a massive apartment fire in Clayton County on June 1, 2022. (FOX 5)

The fire department confirmed that when crews arrived they discovered the hydrants in the complex had reduced water pressure. Fire officials said crews used a hydrant on Flat Shoals Road to obtain a water supply for firefighting operations. 

According to the department, the hydrants within the complex were last serviced in October 2021 and no issues were reported.

Residents could only stand nearby and watch as the blaze consumed their homes, leaving hot burning embers behind.

Several residents described the scene as being surreal. Some expressed how it was the first of the month when rent is due and they had just paid. 

Fire crews said apartment management and the Red Cross are working to find temporary housing for those displaced by the blaze.

The Red Cross said 16 units were destroyed by the fire. About 15 families and 35 people were left homeless and were provided support by volunteers.

The fire was so intense smoke was visible from north of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The fire, which is just over a mile south of the airport, did not interrupt flights.

Clayton County police blocked off a section of Flat Shoals Road to allow fire crews to work.