One of the people injured in the Sunday explosion at Dunwoody’s Arrive Apartments has hired a law firm to represent her and investigate the cause of the incident. 

On Sept. 12, police and fire personnel responded to reports of an explosion at the Arrive Apartments at 2000 Asbury Square. The official cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but a spokesperson for Atlanta Gas Light previously stated that someone did report smelling gas in the complex that day. Following the explosion, an inspection found two separate leaks throughout the complex.

According to a press release from personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan, 27-year-old Sherelle Baker was parked in her car next to one of the complex buildings at the time of the explosion. Debris from the blast broke through Baker’s windshield and knocked her unconscious. 

DeKalb County Fire Rescue did not confirm in time for publication whether Baker was one of the four people initially reported injured from the blast.

Baker and her attorney Dylan Bess spoke about the incident at a virtual press conference on Sept. 15. Baker is not a resident of the Arrive Apartments, but was at the complex that day for something related to her job. She said she arrived early from church, so she was waiting in her car.

“As I was legit sitting there, I just felt a wave hit me,” Baker said. “After that, it gets extremely foggy.” 

Baker said she suffered cuts and bruises from the explosion and also currently has a concussion. She said in the aftermath of the experience, she was in a state of shock and had a hard time wrapping her mind around what had happened. She said one of the first things she thought about was her car.

“I paid off my car,” she said. “That’s what I could think of. My brain wasn’t able to compute any more than that.” 

Baker said she was grateful, but surprised, that the blast didn’t kill anyone. 

“Something exploded. When you hear things like that, you think of death,” she said “I’m very grateful that people survived.”

According to Bess, Arrive Apartment’s insurance company hired an investigator to look into the blast, and that investigator invited representatives for Morgan & Morgan to go to the apartment complex on the morning of Sept. 15 to begin looking for a definitive cause.

“The purpose of our attendance there was to conduct or begin a joint scene inspection,” Bess said. “When we arrived, we were met with a great deal of resistance, accused of trespassing even though we were there with the invitation of their representative, and asked to leave the property.” 

Bess said Morgan & Morgan does plan to investigate the cause of the explosion, but he does not know what date that will begin. 

Baker said she wants whoever is responsible to be held accountable for their actions. 

“Something happened,” she said. “Somebody didn’t do their job.”

Arrive Apartments has not responded to multiple phone calls and requests for comment about the explosion. A spokesperson for DeKalb County Fire Rescue said that going forward, it is possible that the investigation into the exact cause of the explosion will be handled directly by a private insurance company, not DeKalb County.  

“Buildings don’t just blow up,” Bess said. “We need to nail down, for Ms. Baker and for everybody else who had their lives turned upside down that day, what the exact cause was.” 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.