DeKalb County

9 months later, fire investigators still trying to determine cause of explosion at apartment complex

DUNWOODY, Ga. — It’s been nine months and DeKalb County fire investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a multiunit apartment complex to blow up.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston spoke with the head investigator on the case Tuesday and learned the fire and explosion is the biggest case DeKalb has had in more than 20 years.

Nearby residents remember the explosion at the Arrive apartment complex.

“I was inside my house at the apartment. Thought it was a bomb at first,” one woman said, asking not to be identified.

Huddleston went back out to the complex Tuesday.

He said construction crews are doing a lot of work at the complex with blue tarps still on a couple of the buildings in the distance. He also saw crews working on some of the gas lines.

Miraculously, only four people suffered minor injuries in the explosion, but dozens lost everything.

The buildings are now empty while they make repairs.


Some nine months after the explosion, fire investigators tell Huddleston they are still trying to figure out what caused it.

“It pretty much affected several buildings. I want to say three buildings. If I’m not mistaken -- 30 families in there in each building,” Dekalb Fire Rescue Supervisor Terry Turman said.

He also said the case is the most complex investigation in his 21-year career.

Was it a gas leak? A rupture or faulty gas line that caused the explosion and subsequent fire?

“It is active, but it is currently undetermined at this time,” Turman said.

The county has five full-time fire investigators and all of them have worked on this case at some point in the last nine months.

Turman said they are currently going over reams of data to help determine the cause.