ATLANTA - An early morning apartment fire in southwest Atlanta claimed the life of a 64-year-old man and left 31 people displaced.
The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. Wednesday at the Venetian Hills complex located on Campbellton Road inside Larry Burnett ' s apartment.
Responding firefighters said a number of victims had already evacuated from the building when they arrived on scene. Some residents went door-to-door notifying their neighbors about the fire, but others were forced to jump out windows to escape.
Mr. Burnett said he was roommates with the man who didn't make it out.
"That was the nicest guy you're gonna meet. He speaks every time you come, he speaks every time you leave. He holds conversations. He was a good friend," Burnett said.
The 64-year-old victim was found in his bedroom, located on the second floor. His identity has not been released. He lived in the unit where the blaze broke out, and had four roommates who, officials say, all managed to escape. Fire officials called in a K-9 from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency to help with the investigation.
"With this fatality happening and the fire happening so early in the morning, we want to eliminate any possibility of suspicious activity," Atlanta fire Sergeant Cortez Stafford said.
The Red Cross said they assisted 11 families, 31 people, who were displaced by the fire. A MARTA bus was used to keep people warm.
Firefighters are not sure what caused the blaze.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet released the name of the man or the cause and manner of death.
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