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Published: Friday, 4/24/2009

Suspicious fire damages Old West End apartment

BLADE STAFF

A vacant apartment fire of suspicious origin in an Old West End apartment complex Friday morning closed westbound Bancroft Street near Collingwood Boulevard for about two hours, authorities said.

Police and fire crews arrived about 5:40 a.m., found flames in a third-floor unit of the Bancroft Village Apartments at 425 Bancroft, and evacuated the building. There were no injuries, Battalion Fire Chief Mark Kline said.

"Our crews got in and quickly confined the fire to one apartment," Chief Kline said. "There was some smoke damage to some other apartments and some water damage below."

Fire crews had the blaze under control within about 15 minutes and started to let the tenants back in the building about 7:30 a.m., by which time fire crews started to leave the scene, Chief Kline said.

The cause of the fire was ruled suspicious. Arson investigators were working the scene Friday morning trying to determine what caused the fire, the battalion fire chief said. He put the damage estimate at $40,000.

The Red Cross was assisting with accommodations for a family of two adults, whose apartment was damaged by smoke, fire fighters said.

The Lucas County Auditor's Web site lists the owner of the four-story building as Bancroft Village Apartments LLC. It was built in 1948.



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