June 13, 2013

Apartment fire reported in Atwater

No injuries were reported in an Atwater apartment fire early Thursday morning, according to Cal Fire.

The fire was reported at 3:12 a.m. at the Broadway Apartments located at 778 Broadway Ave., according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Gabriel Santos.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an open flame which ignited some furniture in a vacant utility room, Santos said.

The first firefighters at the scene reported seeing heavy smoke and flames coming from the first floor of the two-story apartment complex.

All of the three apartment units were safely evacuated and the fire was quickly contained to the single room of origin within 10 minutes. The fire caused moderate fire damage and smoke damage into one of the units, according to Santos.

Twelve firefighters responded to the scene, along with two Atwater Fire Department/Cal Fire engines, and two Merced County Fire Department/Cal Fire engines. One chief responded to the commercial fire.

Many occupants were displaced due to the severe electrical damage to the building. A total of three families (eight adults and seven children) were relocated to vacant apartments and local hotels provided by the American Red Cross.

-- Sun-Star staff

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