NRI Pulse Staff Report
Atlanta, GA: When Arivalagan Arunachalam of Marietta received a call from a neighbor on Feb 19th afternoon, nothing could have prepared him for what met his eyes. A fire blazed through his family’s condo at Parkaire Crossing in Marietta, and, as his family watched, the roof caved in.
Cobb Fire Department battled for over eight hours to put out the fire. In all, eight condo units were gutted.
Speaking to NRI Pulse, Arunachalam said he and his wife Uma, who works at Kroger, both received calls around 2.30 pm informing them of the fire. Luckily both their children, a 15-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son were out at school when the fire broke out.
Reports cited officials as saying that a plumber was welding inside when the building caught fire. The sparks reportedly ignited in the sheetrock where the plumber was working and fire spread between the building’s first and second floor.
Arunachalam’s insurance moved them to a motel on the night of the 19th. The Red Cross helped with meals. The family has since moved to a condo nearby.
The family is anxious to salvage anything that might have survived the fire, especially personal belongings of sentimental value, but calls to the fire department and the House Owners Association (HOA) at Parkaire Crossing have been frustrating so far, said Arunachalam. “I met the captain at the fire department who said their job was limited to putting out the fire. It is up to the HOA to decide if it is safe to go back to our condo. When we ask the HOA, they say it is the fire department that will decide if is safe to go back into the building.”
After hearing about similar campaigns set up by the other families whose homes were gutted in the fire, Arunachalam started a GoFundMe Relief page (http://www.gofundme.com/mx32ow ) to help his family tide over this difficult time.
“I am in the middle of a career change. My wife, Uma, is the only earning member of the family. Any support from the community will be appreciated,” he said.