Firefighter: Apartment fire sparked by discarded cigarette

WARNER ROBINS — A discarded cigarette on a back patio started a fire at the Huntington Chase apartment complex in Warner Robins, a firefighter says.

Capt. James Franklin of the Warner Robins Fire Department said the fire was reported about 1:30 a.m. Thursday from the patio of a second-story apartment in the 400 building at Huntington Chase Apartments, 1010 S. Houston Lake Road.

Members of the Warner Robins police, Houston County Sheriff’s Office and EMS also responded.

No one was injured, Franklin said.

Husband and wife Brian and Katie Russell had been asleep in the apartment for about two hours when Brian Russell woke up to the smell of smoke, the couple said.

After they unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire, they fled the apartment and alerted neighbors to get out too.

“I’m happy we got out, and we got out fast,” said a distraught Katie.

Neighbor Sue Weber said she got out of her apartment with her daughter Carly and dog Abby following banging on her door and screams of “Fire! Fire!”

“(I didn’t know) what was going on, but then I saw the panic in his face,” said Weber, whose apartment is behind the Russells’ residence.

Weber commended the actions of both the Russells and firefighters, saying, “Their response was excellent.”

Staff writers Becky Purser and Liz Fabian contributed to this article.

To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.