40 People Displaced By Burlington Fire

02/23/11 5:04PM By Melody Bodette

(Host) The Burlington Fire Department says smoking materials that were improperly disposed of started a fire at a condominium building that displaced 40 people.

There were no injuries in the fire at the Riverwartch Condominiums, which was reported just before 5:00 Wednesday morning.

All 24 units on the building were occupied at the time of the fire. Despite the alarm system being activated, not everyone woke up and firefighters had to go to each unit to ensure the occupants left the building.

The building suffered moderate structural damage, but there was water damage throughout the building.

The Red Cross sent a disaster response team to help at the scene, and later opened a service center at its headquarters in Burlington.

Spokesman Doug Bishop says the Red Cross is able to provide lodging and some financial assistance as well as make referrals to other agencies, as needed.

(Bishop) "We've got set up to help folks as they may come in throughout the day to interview them and provide what assistance we can."

(Host) So far the Red Cross has met with 12 fire victims and is providing overnight housing for those in need.

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