Goose Creek — Tenant Kelsey Babb sat across from her heavily damaged apartment building Monday, nursing her pet rat with an oxygen mask provided by firefighters in the wake of a morning blaze.
Babb, 19, was visibly shaken as she recalled waking to the smell of smoke that quickly filled her apartment.
At first, she said, she thought her 17-year-old brother had burned something on their stove.
She quickly got out of bed and ran to her brother, only to find that he had been asleep as well and that their stove was off.
She soon realized the building was on fire.
Babb and her brother escaped their apartment and dodged the flames that poured from neighboring units as the fire spread through the 12-unit building. Babb, who had only lived at the apartment for a month, said she wouldn’t dwell on having lost all her possessions.
“We’re lucky that we even made it out alive,” she said.
The Goose Creek Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire, which destroyed half-a-dozen units at S&K Apartments and left one woman injured.
The blaze, which was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m., quickly spread through a common attic in the building at 105 Farm Road, Fire Chief Steve Chapman said.
The fire took about 90 minutes to control and caused extensive damage to the building, Chapman said. Paramedics transported a woman to Trident Medical Center for treatment for smoke inhalation. Her name and condition were not available. No other injuries were reported, Chapman said.
Residents and neighbors comforted one another from behind a line of yellow tape that surrounded the building as firefighters tended to hot spots.
Gwen Ferguson was still settling into her unit when it was destroyed.
Her church family found the apartment for her two months ago. Before that, she said, she was homeless.
Ferguson said she was devastated to find her new home in ruins, but was thankful to have her family by her side to cushion the blow.
“When things like this happen it always helps to have family to turn to,” she said.
American Red Cross volunteers are helping to provide emergency supplies to those affected, a news release said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.
Caution tape blocks off a heavily damaged apartment building Monday on Farm Road.×
A crew secures the laundry room following a fire that damaged it and about half of the 12-unit apartment building on Farm Road in Goose Creek on Monday morning.×
A fire reported around 8:30 a.m. quickly spread through a 12-unit building at S&K Apartments, 105 Farm Road in Goose Creek, damaging about a half-dozen units.×