Four families were displaced by a fire in an apartment on Waddell Circle on Friday afternoon, the Oak Ridge Fire Department said.
The fire was reported at about 2:10 p.m. Friday, March 22, in the 200 block of Waddell Circle. Firefighters reported heavy smoke and fire coming from one of the second-floor apartments when they arrived.
The flames were quickly extinguished, and crews confirmed that all occupants made it out of the building safely, the City of Oak Ridge said in a press release. The occupants told first responders they heard a “whooshing” sound while watching television. When they opened the back door, they found the deck on fire.
Investigators determined that the fire began on the deck before it extended into the apartment and attic. One side of the building sustained serious damage, the press release said. The power to the complex was disconnected until the wiring can be inspected and repaired.
All four families occupying the four-unit apartment complex were displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross was called to provide temporary shelter for the affected families. No injuries were reported, the press release said.
Upon further investigation, the occupants of the burned apartment stated they had been smoking, and they believe one of them may have emptied cigarette butts and ashes into a cardboard box on the back deck approximately 20 minutes before the fire was discovered.
“The Oak Ridge Fire Department would like to remind everyone to always dispose of smoking materials safely,” the press release said. “Use a non-flammable container with a lid that is partially filled with sand or water. Be sure to empty the contents regularly. Ensure all cigarette butts and ash are out by soaking them with water before putting them in the trash.”
Questions can be directed to the Oak Ridge Fire Department at (865) 425-3520.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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