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Officials: Fire at River Terrace Apartments caused by tenant falling asleep while smoking

River Terrace Apartments fire 1.jpg
River Terrace Apartments fire 2.jpg
Posted at 11:13 AM, Dec 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 11:15:02-05

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Officials say a fire broke out at River Terrace Apartments in Benton Harbor after a tenant fell asleep while smoking.

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says crews were called to River Terrace Apartments Thursday for reports of a smoke alarm going off.

When crews arrived at the scene, they found heavy smoke conditions on the second floor of the building and fire in one apartment.

Fire crews were able to get the fire under control in about 15 minutes, but firefighters remained on scene for about two hours clearing smoke from the second and third floors, overhauling the apartment with the fire and investigating.

Officials say the Red Cross and River Terrace management were helping the tenants displaced by the fire.

The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says the fire appears to have started from a resident falling asleep while smoking.

The department encourages all community members to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says it has 360 in stock to supply residents.