NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The New Orleans Fire Department has ruled an early morning 5-alarm fire in the Bywater, which damaged five buildings, suspicious.
It happened around 1:12 a.m. Thursday morning in the 2800 block of Urquart Street.
According to NOFD, first responders arrived at the scene and found multiple fires in an apartment complex made up of three wood-framed structures. The fire also damaged nearby warehouses, one was completely destroyed.
Three occupied homes on St. Ferdinand Street had minimal damage, and residents were evacuated for their safety, until the fire was under control. Three of the families were assisted by the American Red Cross because electrical issues forced Entergy to turn off utilities to their homes.
The wood-framed apartment complex where the fire began, had no utilities hooked up to the structure.
The complex had been previously deemed unsafe by the Department of Safety and Permits in July, and had a previous fire on August 6. During the August fire, firefighters found at least 10 people living inside, and although the building had no utilities, there were several extension cords running through the building, and connected to an adjacent structure.
The New Orleans Fire Department, the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, the American Red Cross, and Entergy all responded to Thursday morning's fire.
81 firefighters responded to the 5-alarm fire and one firefighter was injured.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.