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LFD: 24 units damaged, more than 70 people displaced in apartment fire

Bayou Oaks apartment fire
Posted at 6:12 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 19:12:01-05

Lafayette Firefighters are continuing to investigate the cause of an apartment fire on Feu Follet Road Thursday night that damaged 24 units.

LFD says that shortly before 4:00 pm Lafayette Fire Department received a 911 call stating smoke was coming from the roof of one of the buildings at Bayou Oaks Apartment Homes.

First responders arrived on scene within minutes and noticed flames coming from the roof. A second alarm was immediately requested resulting in seven fire trucks and three aerial ladders. At least 35 firefighters worked to combat the fire which involved 24 units. More than 70 people were displaced.

"It's just good that everyone got out safe and okay. The only frustrating thing is that a lot of people are going to be displaced," said Bayou Oaks resident Damon Watson.

This is the first major fire Watson has witnessed since moving into Bayou Oaks. He initially thought someone was cooking, but quickly realized that wasn't the case.

"The smell got stronger and stronger. Then as I looked outside, I saw the sky was starting to get darker so then when I came outside I saw the smoke, and then you could see the flames coming from the apartment across the driveway."

Units in two buildings sustained heavy damage. The fire started on the roof of Building H, then started to spread through the attic of Building F. LFD says roofing contractors were working on the roof prior to noticing the smoke, and called 911 to report the fire. Several people who lived in Buildings H and F evacuated as the roof went up in flames.

"All the residents went around and they were knocking on doors, making sure that everyone evacuated because they didn't know exactly what was going on. The fire department had to cut holes in the roof to extinguish most of the flames. I'm sure a lot of people probably lost a lot of personal belongings."

The more than 70 residents who were affected received hotel vouchers, and the American Red Cross is assisting with temporary housing.

"The good thing is that everyone did get out okay and that's the main thing," Watson added.

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