Injuries and smoke damage were reported over the weekend after a fire caused an evacuation at a local assisted living facility.

Athens Fire Department responded to an at Athens Place Assisted Living Center Saturday morning.

According to a news release sent by the AFD, they received confirmation of the fire from an employee of the living center who called 911 within minutes of the alarm.

“Minutes later, an employee called 911 and confirmed they did have a fire in the storage closet in the Memory Care wing,” the release stated. “The Athens Fire Department arrived on the scene and Battalion 3 immediately established command.”

The fire department reported there was no visible smoke or flames coming from the building upon their arrival.

“Firefighters made entry through the main entrance and continued to the hall that led to the fire. The hall was smoke-filled. Our firefighters quickly located the source of the fire, a fan box in the attic of a storage room,” the release continued. “The fire was contained to a small area in the attic above the storage closet and the fire was quickly extinguished. A primary and secondary search was conducted and completed. Firefighters confirmed with onsite staff that accountability was in check.”

AFD members also assisted Athens Place Assisted Living staff in creating a safe place in the parking lot.

“Three residents were transported to the ER for heat-related injuries and were treated and released same day,” stated the report. “Athens Fire Department would like to express their gratitude to the following agencies: Athens Police Department, American Medical Response (AMR), Athens Rural Fire Department, Englewood Volunteer Fire Department, Riceville Volunteer Fire Department, Athens Utilities Board and 911 dispatchers. These agencies assisted with covering the city and relocating the residents. Several local churches and facilities loaned buses and staff to help. Keith Memorial United Methodist Church opened its doors to relocate the residents.”

Athens Fire Chief Brandon Ainsworth expressed his gratitude to everyone involved and believes they did an “exceptional” job.

“I would like to give the staff of Athens Place Assisted Living credit for the phenomenal job they did evacuating the residents as fire units arrived. Many of the residents could not self-evacuate,” Ainsworth said. “The residents are blessed to have such amazing caregivers. They not only took care of the residents, but they worked hand in hand with us. The staff at Athens Place Assisted Living was prepared and did an awesome job. The outcome in this situation could not have been any better.”

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