By Michael R. Moser
A candle that had been left burning when an occupant went to sleep is listed as the cause of a fire that gutted one unit, damaged three other units and temporarily displaced nine persons.
Crossville Fire Department received the alarm at Five Oaks Apts. off Old Jamestown Hwy. in the area of the rear of Walmart at 5:50 a.m. Firefighters quickly got the blaze under control, but not before fire had gutted the apartment where it started, caused considerable damage to a second unit, and caused smoke and water damager to two others.
Firefighters believe the burning candle ignited a couch.
A resident of the unit most seriously damaged told fire officials she was awakened by a smoke detector and when she went to see what the commotion was about, found a couch where a candle had been left on fire. She awoke her boyfriend who attempted to put the fire out.
When smoke became too thick, the two fled the apartment, arousing neighbors in the same building and notifying the fire department.
Management of Five Oaks was on the scene early, and before noon, all residents had been relocated to other units. The American Red Cross' Crossville office responded to the fire to assist residents.
City firefighters remained on the scene for about three hours, helping residents recover personal property that was salvageable.
No one was injured in the incident.