White City Christmas day fire damages four-plex

Fire started in the attic of one of the units.
Fire started in the attic of one of the units.

A Christmas day fire at 7770 Division road in White City found residents of four apartments needing to relocate.
According to Jackson County Fire District 3 Assistant Fire Marshal Don Hickman, a couple in the upper left corner of the four-plex came home around 1 p.m. and turned up the thermostat and within five or 10 minutes they noticed smoke coming out of the vents. They shut down the unit and called 91l.
There was no fire in the units but fire was coming out of the roof. Hickman said it appears there was a problem with the heating unit, which he described as a type of heat pump with a squirrel cage on top that heats the units as well as heating the water.
There was damage to the two top units as fireman had to cut through to the roof. Hickman said the lower two units were habitable but the property owner believed it was prudent to relocate all four tenants until the structure received a "clean bill of health." Hickman said it will need a new roof and all the wiring will need to be checked.
Hickman estimated damage at $350,000 for the complex and $100,000 content damage.  He said the department was encouraged to hear the smoke alarm going off upon their arrival.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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