Monday, December 22, 2014

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Austin

Apartment fire caused by improperly discarded smoking materials

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TWC News: Two-alarm apartment fire displaces at least 10
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Update --The cause of Wednesday morning's fire was "improperly discarded smoking materials," according to fire officials.

The fire started in a downstairs apartment, causing extensive damage. The upstairs apartment suffered exterior damage.

Four units additional units remain evacuated, displacing a total of 18 residents.

Damage is estimated to be $100,000 in structure and $50,000 in contents, according to officials. No word yet on the cause of the fire.

Earlier --Fire crews battled a two-alarm apartment fire in southeast Austin Wednesday morning.

It was at the Park Lane Villas Apartments on Parker Lane just off Woodward, right across from the IRS building.

Fire crews were called out to the blaze just after 6 a.m., when they immediately began fighting heavy fire coming from a second floor window.

Officials elevated the fire to a two-alarm when they realized it was an occupied apartment complex. Several units were immediately evacuated.

The fire extended to the roof of the building. Officials say the way a building is made, including its roof design, can have a big impact on their ability to fight fires.

"No real difficulties, but any time we have a fire with this type of roof, called 'Mansard Roof,' we end up chasing the fire around," Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said. "We actually have to peel the roof assembly away to make sure the fire is completely out."

Fire crews were able to put the fire out in less than one hour. Three or four units were damaged, and between 10 to 15 people were affected. No injuries are reported.

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