Apartment fire displaces 14 – due to pests

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Apartment fire displaces 14 – due to pests


By Jennifer Baker • jbaker@enquirer.com • October 13, 2009 http://www.cincinnati.com/

COLERAIN TWP. - Fourteen people were temporarily displaced overnight in a fire at an apartment building in the 3100 block of Regal Lane, according to Hamilton County emergency communication reports.

One minor injury was reported in the 3:23 a.m. blaze, a dispatcher said. The victim was treated at the scene for a minor burn and released.

Flames and heavy smoke were visible from the apartment building when fire crews arrived, reports state.

Colerain Township police officers got to the building just before the fire department and began evacuating residents, said Colerain Township Police Sgt. Mike Owens. They carried out a few people, including an elderly man who was treated by paramedics and released.

Colerain Township firefighters woke a sleeping couple on the third floor, but by then it was too late to take them into the smoke-filled hallway to leave the building, Owens said. They were eventually rescued off their balcony.

The fire was contained to its origin, a bedroom in a second floor apartment, and reported knocked down by 3:38 a.m.

Fire investigators have determined the blaze was started by a resident spraying for bed bugs while smoking, said Capt. Steve Conn, spokesman for the Colerain Township Fire Department.

"They were spraying for bed bugs, and it had alcohol in it," Conn said. "One of the residents lit up a cigarette, and it basically flashed and started the room on fire."

By 6 a.m., all but three or four of the residents had returned to their units, Conn said. The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced family.

Damage is estimated at $20,000, according to Conn.

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