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By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
Two apartments were destroyed after a fire tore through a building in the Brookeville Garden complex Monday morning.
The fire broke out at apartment 25A at approximately 7:27 a.m. Starkville Fire Department was on the scene by 7:34 a.m., and crews had the fire under control within 15 minutes. The fire was completely put out by 9 a.m.
Investigators determined the cause of the fire was a wall heater that
â€śOne of the occupants smelled smoke, got up to investigate and found that a curtain had caught on fire,â€ť Chief Rodger Mann said.
A chained gate had to be opened before the fire trucks could enter the neighborhood, but Mann said it did not cause any significant delay for the firefighters.
â€śWeâ€™ve known about that gate and they knew about it going into it today,â€ť he said. â€śWe were consulted about the gate a few years ago and the benefit it has far outweighs the short delay it could cause.â€ť
The apartment sustained extensive smoke, fire and heat damage. The fire also spread to the upstairs apartment, which also sustained fire and heat damage. All four apartments in the building were water damaged as the fire was put out by firefighting crews. Residents were evacuated, and no injuries were reported.
â€śThis is the time of year that weâ€™ll see an increase in fires,â€ť Mann said. â€śWe need to make sure that everyone has a working smoke detector that will alert your family to any fires. It is important that you check the smoke detectors, especially during this time of year when we have an increased demand for heat.â€ť
Mann recommends keeping space heaters clear of any flammable materials, including holiday decorations, furniture, curtains and chemicals.