Man Dies in Large Apartment Fire on Covington Highway

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One man has been found dead after a large blaze at an apartment complex in DeKalb County Wednesday morning. 

Fire crews were called out to the Parke on Covington Highway apartments around 7:15 a.m. It's located in the 3900 block of Covington Highway.

Residents at the Parke on Covington apartments stood helplessly in shock as they watched a building burn, knowing a man and a woman were still stuck inside. DeKalb County firefighters told FOX 5 News that one woman jumped. A resident said her teenaged daughter and daughter's friend jumped as well. Paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. But the man she lived with did not make it out alive.

Family of the victim said the 37-year-old man was a good father and a popular fellow in the complex on Covington Highway just outside of Interstate 285.

"He was really nice and this is just so sad. We know this wasn't an accident," Venita Palmer said.

Palmer lives in the unit below the apartment when the 37 year old died.

Despite the heartache of losing their neighbor, residents are grateful everyone else made it out alive.

Keyera Wade says her 4-year-old son woke her up before the flames took over her apartment.

"If it wasn't for him, I don't think I'd be alive right now. He jumped up when he heard the alarm because I didn't hear it. When I opened the door, there was too much smoke to get out. So we went out the balcony and I started yelling for my neighbors to get out.”

Cece Wilson's mother was one of the residents who heard the commotion.

"I'm just grateful to the Most High that my mother heard that boy and his mother screaming. This couldn't been so much worse," said Wilson.

Several neighbors told witnesses said the fire was intentionally set in the breezeway of the building that was destroyed. Arson investigators have that information, but have not yet ruled on the cause of the blaze. Authorities have not released the victim's name.