Fire in Tryon leaves some Oak Hall condo residents homeless

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Apartment 304 caught fire just before 10 p.m. last Thursday with the 911 call coming from someone in the parking lot of Sidestreet Pizza, according to Tryon Fire Chief Joey Davis.

The Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office and the Tryon Police Department are investigating the cause of the fire, which is currently unknown.

No one was injured in the fire, according to Chief Davis, but the fire caused extensive damage to three units, forcing residents to find temporary living arrangements until repairs can be made.

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The fire was mostly in the roof section of the apartment and was contained to the deck. Flames were said to be seen shooting out the front of the building overlooking downtown Tryon until firefighters got it under control.

The 300 building of Oak Hall, a retirement condominium complex on Chestnut Street, was evacuated with residents standing in the parking lot, most in their nightly attire. The fire struck when most residents were already asleep and many residents said they didn&squo;t know there was a fire until they heard the sirens.

The 300 building was evacuated and power was shut off to units 302, 303 and 304 (where the fire started) until an electrical inspection can be done, Davis said.

Most residents of the building, around 10 in total, stayed elsewhere Thursday night, with some staying at the Days Inn in Columbus as set up by the Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross. A local church also offered to house displaced residents for the night.

Severe damage was done to the 304 unit by fire and smoke and the two immediately adjoining units also suffered smoke and/or fire damage.

The Tryon Fire Department was assisted by Columbus, Saluda and Landrum Fire Departments along with the Polk County Emergency Services, the Polk County Rescue Squad, the Tryon Police Department, Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office and the Polk County Red Cross.