An apartment fire in south Jefferson City on Monday displaced a dozen families, but caused only one minor injury to a firefighter.
The 12-unit Cedar Brook Apartments was heavily damaged in the fire that started just after 3 p.m. The apartments are in the 2200 block of Weathered Rock Road, off Lorenzo Greene Drive, about a mile south of the Firley YMCA.
More than 20 people were left without homes and the structure was considered a total loss.
The state fire marshal's office said the fire started because a cigarette was improperly disposed of on a deck of an upper floor apartment.
Some neighbors' fast thinking is credited with keeping the fire from potentially being deadly.
One witness told reporters a person who walks through the area regularly first noticed the fire, then notified homeowners behind the apartment building.
The homeowners then ran to the apartment where the fire had started on the back deck to notify its occupants - a man and his mother.
One firefighter reportedly suffered a minor injury to his knee.
Officials with the Red Cross are helping the affected families with finding clothing, food and shelter. They said that only a few of the tenants had renters insurance.
Anyone interested in making a monetary donation should call the Red Cross office in Jefferson City at 573/635-1132.
Read expanded coverage in our newspaper or e-Edition for Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010.