Apartment Fire

A smoldering cigarette and gusty wind is being blamed for a pre-dawn blaze that caused extensive damage to two apartments and forced the evacuation of 45 people.

Investigators say the fire at the Creekside Apartments complex started on the second-floor balcony of one of the units heavily damaged.

A woman told investigators she had been smoking on the balcony
earlier, but thought she put it out in a metal can.

Investigators believe gusting wind blew the smoldering cigarette
out of the can and started the fire on the deck.

Fire department spokesman Steve Frady says the living room, kitchen and balcony areas of two apartments were fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene just after 3:30 a-m. Two other apartments were also damaged.

Forty-five residents from the 16-unit building were evacuated without incident, and one firefighter suffered an ankle injury.