Investigators said that a cigarette could have been the cause of a fire that forced four apartments to be evacuated overnight Tuesday.
A neighbor alerted fire crews to the townhome blaze on North Street in Norwich Township near Hilliard.
Investigators said that the neighbor had returned home from work when she smelled smoke in the area. She called firefighters after discovering her neighbor’s smoke alarms were sounding.
Jessica Valentine returned home from work to find firefighters and a neighbor’s bedroom window broken.
“I smelled some fumes, opened the door and the whole apartment was full of smoke,” Valentine said. “We came outside, so we didn’t breathe in the fumes.”
Investigators said that they found a mattress smoldering in an upstairs bedroom.
“Another five minutes, it was about ready to come out the window there,” said Chief bob Kaufman of the Norwich Township Fire Department. “It was at the smoldering state. It just needed a little air to it, and it would have went on up.”
Investigators said that the residents of the home were at work at the time of the fire. No one was injured in the blaze, which was contained quickly.
The American Red Cross was called to help residents impacted by the fire.
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