July fire at Helm Lane apartment complex ruled accidental

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug 10, 2007 - The fire which damaged at least four apartments July 21 at a Helm Lane complex was accidental, according to Sulphur Springs firefighters.

Lit candles placed within a book shelf on the wall are thought to be the cause of the blaze, a conclusion investigator Allen Johnson reached after inspecting the burned area and talking to residents at Quail Ridge apartments, Sulphur Springs Assistant Fire Marshall Eric Hill said recently.

The fire consumed the apartment where it started and spread into the crawl space between the ceiling and roof, causing some damage to the roof and apartment next to it.

At least two apartments on the ground floor also were smoke damaged, firefighters said following the fire. Firefighters said a crew should be able to rebuild the section of apartments if the owner chooses to do so.

Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services stood by and reportedly treated only one person, a pregnant woman who was said to have inhaled a bit of the smoke. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Seven off-duty Sulphur Springs firemen were called in, and Brinker Volunteer Fire Department arrived with five personnel after being called for assistance. Police also stood by keeping people a safe distance from the fire and cars off that section of Helm Lane while firemen worked.

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