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Third-alarm fire displaces apartment residents

Davis firefighters respond to an apartment fire Monday afternoon at University Court Apartments at 515 Sycamore Drive. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

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From page A1 | February 12, 2013 |

The Davis Fire Department has launched an investigation into the cause of a third-alarm apartment fire Monday that displaced as many as 20 people.

Eight apartment units were damaged in the blaze, which broke out at about 1:30 p.m. at the University Court Apartments, 515 Sycamore Lane, Davis Fire Marshal Tim Annis said.

When crews arrived on scene, “they found one person on the third floor, trapped by significant heat and smoke,” Annis said. Firefighters rescued that person, who, along with a second resident, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. It was unclear whether they had been in the same apartment.

Annis said it appeared the fire began on the first floor, inside a wall shared by two of the ground-floor apartment units. It then traveled up the wall to the third floor, requiring fire crews to tear into the walls in order to fully extinguish the flames.

The fire reached third-alarm status, bringing in aid from the UC Davis, Woodland, Dixon and West Sacramento fire departments, which either responded to the fire scene or provided station coverage. Off-duty firefighters also were called back to work to assist.

At one point, there were more than 35 firefighters working the fire scene, Annis said.

Crews had the fire under control by 3 p.m., but remained on scene several more hours for mop-up duty and to begin the investigation into the fire’s cause, Annis said. Total damage to the apartment building was estimated to be in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.

Annis said the building was not equipped with fire sprinklers, but they were not required and, due to the fire’s location, “they probably wouldn’t have made a difference.”

About 15 to 20 residents, most of whom were believed to be college students, were displaced by the fire, Annis said. Workers from the local American Red Cross chapter were called in to provide food and housing assistance.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkeene

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