Fire destroyed a 21-unit apartment building, routed about 50 occupants and sent a Tooele firefighter to the hospital with smoke inhalation early Wednesday.

The blaze occurred about 4 a.m. and caused damage exceeding $100,000 to Tooele's Ironwood Apartments in the east part of the city, said Tooele Fire Chief Marvin Lee. The cause was not immediately known.Firefighter Thomas Tate suffered smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion about two hours after the volunteer fire department reached the scene. He was taken by ambulance to Tooele Valley Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.

"Air pack" reinforcements were summoned from nearby Tooele Army Depot in the 31/2-hour effort to extinguish the flames. False ceilings, especially on the ground level of the three-story brick and frame structure caused rapid spread of the flames, which then shot to the upper two stories, firefighters said.