Firefighters battled a large blaze after a Laurel apartment building caught fire on Tuesday evening.
According to Jones County Fire Council, Shady Grove and Sharon Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene of a fire on Holly Drive at the Laurel North Apartments, and additional units were called for backup because the building was fully involved.
Upon arrival, firefighters discovered that the fire was rapidly spreading through the building's attic, catching other apartments on fire.
Initial reports indicated that the apartments were empty, but upon arrival, some residents began to speculate that others were still inside. Firefighters searched the apartments and found no one trapped inside and later confirmed that that everyone was accounted for, according to the fire council.
Three dogs were reported to be inside the apartments and firefighters managed to rescue two as others battled the blaze. After the fire was brought under control, firefighters discovered the third dog alive inside a kennel in the apartment and it was returned to its owner unharmed.
Four apartments in the building were completely destroyed, displacing 17 people. Red Cross was called to the scene to handle the homeless families.
A child in an adjacent building was rushed to the hospital in an incident not related to the fire and no other injuries were reported, according to the JCFC.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Emergency personnel on scene included Shady Grove, Sharon, Calhoun, Soso and Powers Volunteer Fire Departments, as well as the Laurel Fire Dept., Jones County Fire officials, the Jones County Sheriff's Dept., medical personnel, Jones County FOMA and the American Red Cross.