2 Massive Fires, 1 Cause: Firefighters Warn You To Watch For

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- With warmer temps moving in, more and more people are heading out and sparking up the grill. But, after two large apartment fires in a matter of weeks, firefighters want to remind you to be aware of your surroundings - and of local fire codes.

"I don't want to take away from anybody's grilling in the summer time, it's one of the fabulous things about the summer time, but whenever you operate anything like that, and even if you're talking about a gas grill, pay attention to where it's at and make sure there's enough clearance around that it's not going to cause a problem," said Topeka Fire Marshall Michael Martin.

Investigators blamed a charcoal grill for Sunday's massive fire at the Southbrook apartment complex that caused more than a half-million dollars in damage. Firefighters said several people who lived there had to jump from the second floor to safety and they had to rescue two more after they got there.

And, several weeks ago, fire tore through the Pines Apts., near 2nd and Gage, which firefighters said was caused by a smoker sitting near combustible materials.

Martin pointed out that if you want to use a grill at a Topeka apartment, you must do so at least 10 feet away from the building.