ADRIAN — About 35 people, including 13 Adrian College students, were left homeless Monday after a fire that was started accidentally swept through a three-story apartment building near campus.
The fire to the Orchard Apartments started when maintenance workers using torches to connect plumbing pipes set off a fire in a wall that went into the attic, said Colby Averill, an investigator with the Adrian Fire Department.
The fire in the 38-unit apartment building was reported about 2 p.m. The maintenance workers tried to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher but were unable to contain it, and then alerted tenants and evacuated the building, Mr. Averill said.
“By the time the fire crews got there the fire was through the roof and had spread through the attic space,” the investigator said.
Adrian firefighters were assisted by departments from Madison, Adrian, Palmyra, Raisin, and Cambridge townships, and Tecumseh and Blissfield. Crews were at the fire for nearly three hours.
A damage estimate has not been determined, but the building likely will be demolished, Mr. Averill said. There were no injuries.
A college spokesman said students who were living in the building will be given housing on campus or provided with alternate housing.
Adrian College is about 40 miles northwest of Toledo.
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