UPDATE: Discarded Cigarette 'Likely' Caused Apartment Fire

Posted: April 11, 2014

Daily News-Record

Firefighters battle an apartment complex fire in Harrisonburg Thursday afternoon.

Harrisonburg firefighters say a discard cigarette "likely" caused Thursday's blaze at Chestnut Ridge Apartments.

The fire has been determined to be accidental, but firefighters say they won't be to determine an exact cause because of intense fire and water used to battle the blaze.


The American Red Cross' Disaster Action Team has responded to Thursday's blaze at Chestnut Ridge Apartments.

Today, the organization announced it is helping 23 displaced people, including 15 children.

Mercy House has offered rooms for those displaced by the fire and asks for the public to help locate them. The shelter can be reached at 432-1812.

Assistant Fire Chief Ian Bennett with the Harrisonburg Fire Department said firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire at 131 Chestnut Ridge Drive about 3:15 p.m.

Bennett said investigators believe the fire started on the exterior of the building, traveled up the vinyl siding and spread through the attic.

The fire was brought under control in about an hour, but crews were on scene late Thursday night putting out hot spots.

Witnesses on the scene said the fire was started by a discarded cigarette in a mulch bed, but firefighters are still investigating.

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