Article updated at 5:22 p.m. Friday, May 27:
One person was displaced from their home and another suffered smoke inhalation this morning when a fire broke out in a south Lawrence apartment.
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical was called to Prairie Ridge Place Apartments, 2424 Melrose Lane, at 10:50 a.m. Friday. Firefighters arrived within four minutes and found smoke coming from an upper-level apartment.
Battalion Chief Rob Fleeup said an alarm alerted residents in the building, who had evacuated prior to the fire department’s arrival. Although this apartment building was on a building-wide system, Fleeup said it was a good reminder to change smoke detector batteries twice a year.
“A lot of people did leave the building,” Fleeup said. “It makes us appreciate those buildings with fire alarm systems.”
One person from a nearby apartment reported inhaling smoke in a hallway near the affected apartment as she was evacuating. That resident was treated and released. No other injuries were reported.
Fleeup said an investigation was underway, but it appeared that the fire originated in or near the oven and “progressed from there.” According to a news release from LDCFM, the fire was contained to a single apartment, and the fire was under control by 11:16 a.m.
The affected apartment was deemed uninhabitable. Fleeup said the property manager was working with the resident to find accommodations. The Red Cross was called to be sure the resident had clothes and other necessities.
No damage estimates were available as of Friday afternoon.