Jasper Fire Chief Calvin Kluesner said the apartment where the blaze originated was reportedly abandoned at the time of the fire, but 11 of the 16 other units were occupied.
“Thankfully everyone got out the building OK and no occupant or firefighter injuries were reported,” Kluesner said. “Only one apartment sustained major damage, but we had to use two ventilation fans to clear the smoke from the other 17 apartments.”
Kluesner said firefighters had the fire extinguished within minutes of arriving on the scene, but the heat from the blaze melted some of the wiring so bad that power had to be shut off to the entire building.
“The building is like a concrete bunker. It was built out of concrete blocks and bricks, so the fire was pretty much contained to that one apartment,” Kluesner said. “The heat melted the wiring in the area of the fire so bad we had no choice but to shut the power off to the whole building until it can be repaired.”
Kluesner said the owner of the apartment building is reportedly assisting the tenants with finding alternate living arrangements until repairs can be made.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Jasper Fire Department and the Jasper Police Department.