Apartment Fire Drives 50 from Homes

TOPEKA, KS (AP) _ Fire officials now say a three-alarm fire has displaced about 50 people from a Topeka apartment complex.

Firefighters say the blaze reported at around 1 a.m. Wednesday quickly spread to several units at the Pines Apartment complex, 238 SW Gage Blvd. Fire officials are not sure what caused the fire, which drew 50 firefighters from 12 companies.

The flames destroyed ten apartments in the 40-unit complex. Inspectors are estimating the damage at over $1.6 million, split evenly between structure and content damage, according to fire officials.

The Red Cross is helping displaced residents find temporary shelter. Many were taken to nearby Hayden High School. Officials' initial report that 200 people were driven from their homes turned out to be inaccurate, and the official count by the Topeka Fire Department was downgraded to 50.

Fire officials report that no one was seriously injured, though three residents were treated over a four hour-period, two of them for non-fire related problems.Some pets reportedly died in the fire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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