Two Dalton firefighters suffered what were described as minor injuries Sunday evening as a fire off of the north bypass engulfed a condominium building, destroying two of the four units.
The fire occurred shortly after 7 p.m. at The Villas at Hammond Creek complex.
One of the firefighters — Tyler Higgins — escaped serious injury when a liquid propane tank exploded. Fire Chief Todd Pangle said a large piece of the tank barely missed Higgins and lodged in a wooden fence surrounding the property. Higgins was treated at the scene for shrapnel in his ankle.
“Anything that is aerosol, whether it be hairspray or wasp spray or an outdoor grill, becomes a projectile and a pressurized bomb when it gets hot enough,” Pangle said. “When you have a fire, those are the risks. It is one of the things associated with our job.”
Firefighter Chris Dennis was treated at the scene for “possible heat exhaustion,” Pangle said.
There were no other injuries. A neighbor said the families of the units were out of town.
The fire happened at 1505 Augusta Drive, and Pangle said it started on the backside of the complex and is deemed accidental.
“We had heavy fire on the backside and through the roof,” Pangle said. “We were able to get a quick knockdown on the fire, but it had spread so quickly, it was tough to determine exactly where it started.”
Of the four units in the building, two had heavy fire and smoke damage, while another had moderate fire and smoke damage. The fourth had light smoke damage. The first three are currently not able to be lived in.