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Discarded cigarettes have been blamed for a fire that heavily damaged a Millcreek apartment Thursday and briefly forced evacuation of several other units.

Unified Fire Capt. Clint Mecham said Friday that investigators determined that the butts were left in a plastic cup on the second-story unit's balcony. The still-hot butts ignited a fire that caused $35,000 in damage Thursday morning.

The blaze was reported at 10:42 a.m. at the Country Lake Apartments, 355 E. Wood Bridge Drive (4050 South). The unit's two occupants escaped unharmed.

Firefighters spotted flames and smoke coming from the unit's balcony as they arrived. The fire blew out a window and spread into the kitchen area before crews extinguished it from inside.

The occupants were assisted by apartment complex management in finding a temporary residence.

Twitter: @remims

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