On Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 05:27 am, New Orleans firefighters returning from call a for assistance saw smoke in the 1700 block of Esplanade Avenue. Two other firefighters were passing in the area to report for duty also called the fire in and assisted with evacuation of residents. Two residents heard the smoke detectors and assisted in the evacuation by knocking on doors of residents who escaped. During the evacuation, an explosion occurred causing a wall to pull away from the structure and the building to become unstable. Several 911 calls followed and firefighters responded to 1722 Esplanade. The first arriving engine companies found the rear of a three story, wood frame apartment complex and the attic area fully involved. Eventually the roof and third floor areas of the structure collapsed. Eleven of 12 units were occupied by 13 residents. Neighbors said they think two of the 13 residents were not home at the time of the fire. However, neither the owner nor the fire department has been able to reach them at this time. A fire watch is in place until further notice. Firefighters continue to search the structure as they extinguish hot spots and overhaul the unstable structure.
The American Red Cross is assisting the residents with food, clothing and shelter. No injuries reported.
Twenty-nine fire units responded to the incident carrying 73 fire personnel.
The New Orleans Police Department, American Red Cross, Entergy Gas and Electric responded to this incident.
Rec’d call: 05:27
1st alarm: 05:27
On scene: 05:31
2nd alarm: 05:32
3rd alarm: 06:02
4th alarm 06:20 am
Under control: 07:14
Cause: Under investigation