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Arson suspected in 2-alarm apartment fire in DeKalb County | News

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Arson suspected in 2-alarm apartment fire in DeKalb County
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DECATUR, Ga. (WXIA) -- Fire investigators suspect a juvenile intentionally started a fire at an apartment complex in Decatur, Thursday evening, that injured two people and destroyed or damaged six units, displacing five families.

"The fire was intentionally set," said DeKalb County Fire Captain Eric Jackson. "We've identified a juvenile and he will be facing charges. We believe an accelerant was used along with matches."

When firefighters arrived at the complex -- Spring Valley Apartments, at 2821 Misty Waters Drive, off of I-20 and Candler Road in the Decatur area -- flames were shooting out of the upper floors.

Valissa Asbey and her son are among the five families who lost their homes.

"When I opened the door, all I could see was black smoke and fire," Asbey said.

One person jumped out of an upper floor to escape, and another suffered smoke inhalation. Capt. Jackson said their injuries are non-life-threatening.

Asbey lives across from a vacant apartment where Jackson said the fire may have started. Asbey has no doubt. She said she has constantly complained to management that children have been getting into the vacant apartment -- most recently late Thursday afternoon minutes before the fire broke out.

"I knew they was in there playing because they play in there all the time," Asbey said. "I know that they set it on fire because they're saying out here that they had gasoline and somebody dropped a lighter and it ignited and it caught on fire."

Capt. Jackson was not able to confirm those details, and as of late Thursday night he was not expecting that anyone else would be arrested and charged.

"It's just sad, it's just sad that parents don't watch their kids anymore," said Asbey, "''cause all of them was young kids. But I am so glad that none of the kids got hurt, you know, in the process."

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