Arson officials are investigating a fire that gutted the basement of a duplex apartment at 576 S. Ninth East Sunday night.
Battalion Chief Gordon Nicholl said officials first believed the fire started from a lit candle, but a review of the fire scene shows that the fire may have started in more than one location. Also, there was a long burn pattern, and a mattress had been placed in front of a door.Nicholl said the call was received at about 8:21 p.m. Crews had the fire under control within five minutes of arrival. He said the fire started in the basement and worked up a stairwell at the back of the apartment and was very intense when fire crews arrived.
A woman told investigators that she had lit a candle in a downstairs room and then apparently fell asleep.
Nicholl said the downstairs area was gutted and that the upstairs area suffered extensive smoke damage. The other side of the duplex was undamaged by the fire but did experience some minor smoke damage. Nicholl estimated damage at $10,000.