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Edgewater on Lanier tenants return to scene of fire
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The Gainesville Fire Department responded about 11 p.m. and found flames visible from a third-floor apartment in building A. The fire was quickly extinguished, but 12 units were evacuated for precautionary measures. - photo by Scott Rogers

The smell of smoke lingered Monday afternoon outside building A at the Edgewater on Lanier Apartments three days after a late-night fire broke out from a corner third-floor unit.

Ashley and Corey Hooper came by to check on unit 12, where they have lived for about two years.

“It’ll be a few weeks before we can move back in,” said Corey, a technician with TMC Heating & Air Conditioning. “We got some smoke and water damage. The apartment has to be cleaned up, and our insurance company has to make an inspection.”

The couple said they and their 5-year-old son Jedidiah were in bed around 11:30 p.m. Friday when they heard knocking at the door letting them know that the apartment next to theirs was ablaze.

“We lost all our food because we’ve been without power,” said Ashley, who works at Roswell OB/GYN in Cumming.

The Hoopers said the Red Cross showed up and gave everyone who was affected money to stay at a hotel.

“We couldn’t stay at a hotel because we have a dog,” Ashley said. “We’re staying with my father in Dawsonville.”

Other tenants could be seen wearing face masks carrying out possessions from their apartments.

Mike Riemann, disaster program manager for the American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia, said the organization assisted approximately 30 people with short-term emergency help.

“The Red Cross used to do a lot of things for people in the sense of finding them a hotel room, clothes and some shoes, and now we have changed our approach. So what we do now is assist people financially,” Riemann said. “That’s the first good thing we do, and then the second tier of that is referrals in the community to various organizations that are known to us to be willing to assist in various ways.”

Riemann said most of the responses by the local Red Cross chapter are to fire events. He said that during the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the organization assisted approximately 700 people in its 23-county service area who had been affected by fires.

The Red Cross will be tracking 11 cases with multiple people involved from the fire at Edgewater apartments.

“We got a couple of calls two days later from people who were gone over the weekend and came back to find there had been a fire at their apartment,” Riemann added.

The Hoopers said they are thankful none of the tenants were hurt by the fire, although they learned that a cat and dog were lost in the apartment next to them. They credited the work of the Gainesville Fire Department for quickly putting out the fire.

Edgewater’s property manager declined to comment and referred The Times to Stonemark Management LLC in Atlanta, which did not return a call.

The Griffin Fund, a privately held real estate investment firm, acquired Edgewater on Lanier Apartments in 2014 and completed a $2 million renovation at the Gainesville apartment complex last year, according to information on the Stonemark Management website.

Regional events