Cigarette-caused apartment fire displaces 18

CAVE SPRING – A roaring fire that displaced 18 residents and their pets and damaged or destroyed a dozen apartments April 3 at Cedar Point Apartments in Cave Spring started from a discarded cigarette, fire officials determined.

Career and volunteer firefighters from Cave Spring, Back Creek, Clearbrook and Vinton stations responded to the fire, along with a Salem crew.

The apartments are located off Electric Road on Berry Lane. A representative who was in the complex’ management office called 9-1-1 to report the fire at 6 p.m.

According to Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department, fire crews tried to fight the fire from inside the three-story building but had to evacuate when the roof started to collapse.

They continued outside using hand hose lines and two ladder trucks, and were able to bring the fire under control in about two hours. Firefighters stood by during the night to make sure hot spots were put out.

All 12 apartments had fire, smoke and/or water damage, according to Jennifer Conley Sexton, volunteer and marketing coordinator.

The Red Cross assisted the 18 residents with temporary housing. Sexton said firefighters were able to rescue a dog and cat and used the fire department’s pet oxygen masks to help revive them.

Several more cats were unaccounted for as of press time, Sexton said. The pet oxygen masks were donated to the fire department by Invisible Fence company.

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