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    Post Provo Apartment Fire

    Kitchen fire causes $200k in damage, destroys apartment
    StoryDiscussionJanice Peterson - Daily Herald

    PROVO -- Approximately 20 people were displaced after an apartment complex fire Monday in Provo, leaving one family's apartment destroyed entirely.

    Provo fire battalion chief Jeremy Craft said the fire began at approximately 12:45 p.m. in a fourplex at 557 W. 100 South. The fire began in an apartment on the north side of the top floor. It is unclear how the fire started, but firefighters think it began in the kitchen.

    "Right now it's under investigation," Craft said.

    There were no injuries from the blaze, but the apartment where the fire started was destroyed, displacing a family of four. The fire was out in about 10 minutes and kept largely to the kitchen, but the rest of the apartment was heavily damaged by the high heat. Craft said damages are estimated at about $200,000.

    "The whole unit's totaled," he said.

    Craft said the residents of the apartment were not home when the fire started, and most of the residents of the rest of the complex were gone as well. The remaining apartments have some smoke and water damage, and all of the residents will be displaced for at least a day while the gas and electricity are shut off.

    The American Red Cross was on scene Monday providing assistance to the four families and will be providing shelter to any families who request it. Residents from two apartments were placed in a hotel by the Red Cross, while others are staying with family. Emergency services director Brett Cross said the family of four whose apartment was destroyed will be staying with family, but will also receive financial assistance from the Red Cross. The family lost everything, he said, and will need help buying food and clothing.

    Sabrina and Skylar deJong live below the burned apartment and were not home when the fire began. They said a neighbor called to tell them of the fire, and they were worried it was their own apartment.

    "We feel very blessed," said Sabrina deJong.

    The deJongs will be staying with family until their apartment it habitable, and plan to carry as much property as possible from their home to try and wash away any smoke. Sabrina deJong said she did not know how the fire started, but heard her neighbor may have been cooking chilis in oil and left the stove on. She said while the couple is medically fine and their apartment is not heavily damaged, the fire is an eye-opener.

    "We're going to get renter's insurance now," deJong said.
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