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Fire damages apartment complex, but no injuries

Feb 6, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The blaze originated in Apartment 3, where some remodeling equipment may have been blocking a floor heater.

No one was injured in a fire that was reported at about 7 p.m. Wednesday at the yellow apartment complex in the 300 block of East Madison Avenue in Riverton.

Initial reports state the blaze originated in Apartment 3, where some remodeling equipment may have been blocking a floor heater.

"There was a stack of one-by-fours lying across the floor heater vent right at the point of origin," Riverton Volunteer Fire Department chief Mike Hutchison said Thursday. "We're thinking that's probably what it was."

He said the owners of the complex have been remodeling the facility, putting in new windows and doors and refurbishing the rooms. Most residents had been removed from the property during the project.

"There was only one occupant in one apartment," Hutchison said. "She was right next door to the apartment the fire was in."

The complex contains 10-11 units.

Hutchison said a crew of about 14 firefighters arrived at the scene soon after the 7 p.m. call.

"It was right next door to the fire station," he pointed out. "We made an interior attack and got it knocked down pretty quick."

Apartment 3 sustained heavy smoke and fire damage, but he said the unit is salvageable.

"It'll require some rehab," Hutchison said. "It'll need new drywall and paint, and the floor will need to be repaired -- it burned a big hole in the floor."

He said firefighters arrived just before the fire spread too far into the building's attic. The two adjoining apartments also saw a lot of smoke but weren't badly damaged.

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