A fire that burned down an abandoned apartment complex in Greenwood early Friday morning caused no injuries or fatalities, but police are investigating whether it might be connected to an incident of gunfire from earlier in the week.

Apartment building fire

The smoldering remains of an abandoned apartment complex that burned early Friday morning still are still visible.

Fire Chief Marcus Banks said his department received a call around 5 a.m. reporting that an abandoned apartment complex at Avenue I and Elm Street was on fire. After firefighters arrived, they found flames on the Elm Street side of the complex and then on the Avenue I side, Banks said.

No one was living in the complex, which had about 40 units.

Firefighters put out most of the blaze early in the morning but were still on the scene as of 11 a.m. to extinguish small fires within the units.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Banks said.

The complex is across the street from the site of gunfire that occurred at the intersection of Avenue H and Elm Street Wednesday.

No one was shot, though a white Cadillac was struck.

Deputy Police Chief Marvin Hammond acknowledged a rumor that the fire may be connected somehow to the shooting and said police are looking into it. He declined to provide other details regarding the shooting, saying the investigation is still in its preliminary stages.

Yolanda Mallett, a nearby resident, said she had stepped outside around 4 a.m. Friday to get a breath of fresh air when she saw smoke. She ran outside, initially worried that the smoke was coming from the convenience store located next to the apartment complex on Avenue I.

As she got closer, she saw that flames were consuming the apartment complex.

“I’m speechless right now,” Mallett said as she looked at the smoldering remains of the complex, noting that the roof was gone. “I’m glad nobody was in the building.”

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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