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Apartment blaze set by electric appliance

March 10, 2018 GMT

A fire that Thursday afternoon swept through a building at Golfview Apartments on St. Joe Road started with an electrical appliance and was ruled accidental, according to a Fort Wayne Fire Department official.

Deputy Chief Adam O’Connor said Friday that the fire started on the first floor of the two-story building and displaced multiple families, forcing the evacuation of 24 units in the 192-unit complex.

Police arrived first at the scene when the fire was reported at 4:43 p.m. with fire crews pulling up three minutes later. Police and at least one resident, Michael Krafft, rescued residents dangling from windows. Pets were also rescued. Krafft said he had to crawl out of his apartment in order to escape.

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The fire was contained in 25 minutes but left people without a residence.

Two people suffered minor injuries. Residents sought help and shelter at the community center next door, according to a Golfview manager who was not authorized to speak.

The Golfview fire is the second major apartment fire in a month. On Feb. 8, a fire broke out at 8 a.m. between walls that house utility lines at the Canterbury Green complex on the city’s northeast side. Fourteen apartments in the 5200 block of Stonehedge Boulevard were affected. No one was injured, fire officials reported.

O’Connor said the cause of that fire is being investigated, but it is not criminal in nature.

jduffy@jg.net