Clifton fire caused by cigarettes

A Thursday morning fire that struck a Clifton apartment complex was ignited by cigarettes, according to the Clifton Fire Department.

Tenants were partying late the night before until about 1:30 a.m. Discarded cigarettes next to the rear wall of one of the fourplexes smoldered, then ignited. Flames licked up the outside walls and wriggled their way inside the attic of 486 1/2 Tracy Drive.

The Clifton Fire Department was called at 2:15 a.m.

“It was purely an accident, but it was due to cigarettes,” said Greg Martin, assistant fire chief.

No one was seriously injured in the fire, but one person was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, Martin said.

The Grand Junction Fire Department was called to help fight the fire and provided an engine and 12 firefighters. Clifton put 14 firefighters, two engines and a ladder truck into the fight.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department also responded and helped with crowd and traffic control, Martin said.

He was not sure how many people were evacuated. The fire destroyed two apartments and their contents. Those two families have found shelter with family and friends, Martin said.

Two other apartments had water and smoke damage and the families that lived in those units returned to their apartments, he said.

Martin added that firefighters were able to save all the pets, including three kittens.


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