Cigarette sparks Central East Austin apartment fire


by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 4 at 2:13 PM

AUSTIN -- Fifty people are out of their apartments at the City Point complex in Central East Austin, after an "improperly discarded" cigarette sparked a three-alarm fire.

The Austin Fire Department  says the fire caused $250,000 in structural damage to building 8. It estimates people lost $100,000 worth of property.

The fire started around 6 a.m. Thursday at the City Point Apartments located at 1071 Clayton Lane. The 911 caller reported smoke filling hallway of third floor of Building 8.

Austin firefighters told KVUE the flames were 30 to 40 feet high at the fire's peak around 6:30 a.m.

Ian Parisi made one of the initial 911 calls. He said "I woke up to people banging on my door, and I thought there was a fight or something out there. But then I looked out my peephole and I saw smoke and flames coming out the door of the apartment next to mine."

Fire and water damaged the power supply, so it's not safe for anyone in Building 8 to spend the night there. Firefighters are allowing residents in half the apartments to go back inside to check on their apartments and their belongings, but they can't stay.

"The door was kicked in and the blinds were disturbed, but my things were okay, thankfully," said Joel Love. He came home this morning to find chaos outside his home. "I mean, the firefighters...I thanked them as I was walking over here, they did a great job. They stopped the fire."

Those who aren't staying with friends and family will spend their Fourth of July at a Red Cross shelter set up at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church.

There are no reports of injuries.



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