No one was injured in a fire that destroyed a three-story apartment building Monday afternoon in west Little Rock.
Crews were called shortly after noon to Chapel Ridge Apartments at 24800 Chenal Parkway, where a fire spread from one unit to the rest of the 12-unit structure. Flames were through the roof when the first crews arrived.
Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Randy Hickmon said the fire "totally destroyed" the one building and caused some minor heat damage to one beside it.
Investigators were on scene later Monday afternoon as crews put out hot spots, but Hickmon said the cause is believed to be a resident who was cooking on the stove.
The flames spread quickly in part because of windy conditions at the scene.
Sharon Joyner-Clarke, 51, said she escaped the fire and then watched it consume the building's roof as firefighters got to the scene. She said was thankful to survive, even though the blaze leaves her without a home and will "devastate" her three young grandchildren who live with her.
"Everybody got out alive," she said. "Everything else can be replaced ... A life can't."
Hickmon said about 10 fire units were on the scene, and because of this and several other fire runs in the city, the Little Rock department had to call in mutual aid from Bryant and North Little Rock to staff Little Rock stations. Hickmon said the last time that happened was a fire last year at Forest Place Apartments.
"We've had an extremely busy day," he said, noting it is concerning when other agencies have to come in because they aren't as familiar with Little Rock, department procedures and water supply locations. "We've been spread pretty thin all morning."