Residents in eight apartment units at 4835 S. Katelyn Circle are temporarily homeless after a fire that caused roughly $600,000 in damage early Friday.
Assistant Fire Chief Steve Bauer said the fire could have been minimized had there been sprinklers in each of the apartments. Only the hallways and common areas had sprinklers, he said.
When the building was constructed in the 1980s, the fire code was not as stringent and sprinklers were not required in each unit.
"The fire got out of hand because the sprinkler system was only for common areas of egress - it protected exit areas and hallways but not individual units," Bauer said.
Police are still investigating the cause of the fire, which was reported shortly after 3 a.m., but it's believed to have started near a bathroom.
The fire caused about $400,000 in property damage and another $200,000 for contents inside. The roof is completely gone on one half of the building, Bauer said.
"Some of the units lost pretty much everything they own," Bauer said.
Everyone got out safely, but the residents will not be able to return to their apartments for quite some time, he said.
The American Red Cross is assisting those families affected and relocating them to hotels for the time being.
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