DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — One Dothan man woke up to flames Monday morning on Headland Avenue and he says he is just blessed to have made it out with his wife, dog, and cat.
“Being able to come out here and see the light of day,” Resident Corin Ranaldson said. “Watching the moment unfold after watching flames tear through my home is humbling. Kind of just sat there and you have a bittersweet moment you know God bless the day.”
Ranaldson had only been asleep for a couple of hours before he heard people walking above him and later heard someone scream, “fire.”
“From there we all just rushed out of the house to see what was going on,” Ranaldson said.
Ranaldson says this is the first fire that he has experienced as a resident of the Grace Terrace Apartments.
Other residents at the apartments told WDHN they are concerned about their safety there.
Neighbors say the apartment complex is hard to get out of in an emergency situation.
Dothan Fire officials say that with this complex, the fire department inspects the smoke alarm system, but not each unit individually unless residents ask for their unit to be inspected.
Neighbors tell WDHN that the Grace Terrace Apartment complex used to be a popular place for loiterers, so they had to close off one of the entrances, but recently that entrance was re-opened.
“For a while, they closed the entrance off, but for a safety reason, we opened it back up,” Ranaldson said. “I can just understand that we have older buildings. We are living in a place that has been renovated and remodeled and then under the service maybe not everything got touched up.”
“Every one of these units was signed off by the city of Dothan code inspectors,” Property Manager, Anita Dawkins-Weatherington said. “Every one of these units is updated by the code or the state of Alabama.”
Dothan Fire says that they have not seen a fire at this complex in a while, until Monday, but it is up to code with the most recent check.
The property owner tells WDHN that in the four years he has owned the property this is the first fire they have had at this complex.