Cause of apartment fire remains unknown

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Photo from The News-Gazette Photo from The News-Gazette

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Firefighters say they could not figure out what caused a heavy fire to start at an apartment complex.

Champaign Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith told The News-Gazette the fire’s cause is “undetermined” and will remain that way for now. He says investigators talked with residents and neighbors and have ruled out the possibility of arson.

The newspaper says rumors of someone starting a grill on the third floor provide unfounded. Smith says there was no evidence at all of a grill.

The fire left a total of 97 people displaced.

Firefighters spent hours battling the flames on April 27 before putting out the flames. The property is heavily damaged and labeled as condemned by the city, as a fence now borders it. At least part of the roof caved in from the fire.

Smith says crews have “nothing to go on” in terms of evidence. They struggled to find a source of ignition for the fire but will still accept tips on the case. Anyone with information should call the Champaign Fire Department at (217)403-7200.

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