Lit Cigarette Starts Apartment Fire In Portage

(Portage) The careless use of smoking materials started an apartment fire in Portage Saturday evening. The Portage Fire Department was dispatched to 404 East Cook Street around 11:30pm.

Upon arrival, crews found an active fire and smoke showing from the exterior of a multifamily, two-story residence. Fire Chief Troy Haase says a tenant was smoking in bed and thought she had extinguished the cigarette, but it landed on a role of yarn and started fire. He says the tenant tried to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher, but the heavy smoke forced her out of the building.

Police arrived on scene and assured all residents were evacuated. Fire crews entered and put out the flames in the second story bedroom. Haase says there was heavy fire damage to that room and smoke damage throughout the apartment. Three other apartments had smoke and water damage.

There were no injuries. Displaced residents were assisted by the Red Cross and will be able to return once the building can be properly cleaned and remodeled.