Two-Alarm Fire Causes Springfield Apartment Building Evacuation

Residents shelter in nearby school

Saturday, Nov 5, 2011  |  Updated 4:43 PM EDT
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Faulty Refrigerator Motor Starts 2-Alarm Springfield Fire

NBC Local Media

No major injuries reported.

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Fairfax Police and Fire Rescue knocked down a two-alarm fire in Springfield that forced an entire apartment building to evacuate.

The fire happened on the 7200 block of Commerce Street at 5 a.m. Saturday.

Fire officials said six apartments sustained fire damage and five sustained smoke and water damage.

One resident was injured when he jumped through a glass window to escape the flames.  Other residents were trapped on balconies, and the fire chief said there easily could have been more injuries.  About 30 people have been displaced.

Two adjacent buildings were without fire Saturday morning while crews worked the fire.  Firefighters broke open the nearby Fast Eddie's Sports and Billiards restaurant to shelter the displaced residents immediately following the fire.  Subsequently, residents were moved to a nearby school.

No other injuries have been reported.

A public information officer for Fairfax Fire said the blaze started because of a malfunctioning motor in a refrigerator.  The apartment where the fire started did not have a smoke detector, and the smoke detector in the apartment above did not go off.  Fairfax Fire says the battery in the smoke detector in the apartment above was wrapped in plastic.

The fire department is now handing out smoke detectors to the community.

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