Officials: Cigarette cause of early morning apartment fire

Six people are without a place to live after a fire tears through their apartment Friday morning. It happened at a duplex at Chimney Creek Apartments in Northeast Austin.

The majority of the damage to the duplex is in the back. Firefighters determined a cigarette is what caused the duplex to catch fire. Investigators say the cigarette on the second floor balcony was not properly discarded.

It happened just after 4:30 Friday morning. Working smoke alarms woke the residents up and everyone got out safely.

A total of six people lived in the duplex. Two people lived in one apartment. Four in the other. Two pets were also safely evacuated.

The fire destroyed the duplex causing $400,000 in damages.

The residents are being helped by the American Red Cross.

The Austin Fire Department says this is the third fire in the last eight hours that was caused by cigarettes.

Last night a garage at a home on Braker Lane caught fire. Then also this morning, a balcony at an apartment on Manchaca Rd caught fire. No one was injured and damage at those two fires was minimal, but AFD says all were preventable.

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