Cause Of Fire That Heavily Damaged Local Apartment Determined

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TEMPLE (February 26, 2013)--Investigators have determined the cause of an early morning fire that raced through an apartment at the Ramona Courtyard in Temple, causing damage to several units.

Officials said the fire was sparked by a window air conditioner unit in a vacant apartment that overheated.

Fire and police units were sent at about 3 a.m. Monday to the complex, in the 500 block of W. Avenue G where the first units found flames and smoke shooting from the roof of the building.

The fire itself was contained to Unit 23, which was not occupied at the time, but all the apartments share a common attic, so smoke, heat and water damage affected several other apartments as well, Temple police Sgt. Brad Hunt said.

There are about 30 units in the complex.

All the residents that were at home at the time of the fire were evacuated because firefighters feared some might suffer smoke inhalation, but after the fire was out they were allowed to return to their homes.

No one was reported injured.

One resident who lives next door to the burned out unit returned to the complex as firefighters were mopping up.

He told a News 10 reported that firefighters had kicked in his door and damaged it to the point he could not close it, so he planned to sit outside until morning to stand guard over his belongings.

Two residents were displaced and will be relocated to other units in the complex.