Officials: Fire damages 8 apartments, started in heating unit

Officials: Fire damages 8 apartments started in heating unit

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Jenny Johansen has to wear a mask because she can't stand the smell of what was once her Hampton Court apartment on Drusilla Ln.

"The flames were going up the building. And actually if you look in the floor you can see where it was burnt in-between the levels," said Johansen who lost her apartment in a fire Sunday morning.

The smoke caused Johansen to wake up having a hard time breathing. That's when she called 911.

The fire badly damaged seven other apartments including Jeanquel White, who wasn't home.

White says her unit received the heaviest damage because all of the water that firefighters used wound-up on the first floor, where her apartment is.

"Of course your mind wonders, is this really happening? We're very blessed and thankful. It could have been worse," said White.

While no tenants were hurt, a Baton Rouge Fireman was sent to the hospital after tripping on a staircase. He's since recovered.

As for the investigation, officials now believe the fire started from White's heating unit.

"It was in the wall so they had to begin to move sheetrock from the wall in order to get a better look at where the fire started and look at the burning pattern that the fire was taking," said Mark Miles, Asst. Public Information Officer for the Baton Rouge Fire Dept.

It's a Christmas memory no one saw coming, but it's also a new sense of gratitude. An unexpected reminder of what's most important this holiday season.

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