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Heater blamed for fire
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MONROE - An electric heater could be to blame for an apartment building fire early Wednesday morning.

At about 2:30 a.m., the Monroe Fire Department responded to 1107 1/2 14th Ave., for a reported fire. No one was injured in the fire.

Monroe Fire Chief Daryl Rausch said Daniel Dalton, who lived in one of the six units in the apartment, reported the fire was in his unit.

Rausch said there smoke alarms were sounding in several areas of the building and all occupants were safely evacuated. Ten people were in the building at the time of the fire, he said.

The fire, along with heavy smoke, were discovered in a rear bedroom of a basement apartment. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within a few minutes and the fire was out about 15 minutes after firefighters arrived at the scene.

Rausch said heavy smoke and fire damage were limited to the apartment. There was minor smoke damage throughout the building, he said. An adjacent basement apartment received moderate smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a portable electric heater. Damage was estimated at about $25,000.

The Monroe Department of Public Works and the American Red Cross assisted at the scene.

Brodhead Fire Chief Jay Bohan said people who use electric heaters should remember to keep anything combustible away from the heaters, and never leave them unattended.