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Update: Watertown duplex fire caused by cigarette, officials say

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A carelessly discarded cigarette is now listed as the cause of a fire at a duplex in the city of Watertown Thursday evening.

Firefighters were called to 307 South Rutland Street shortly before 6 p.m.

The fire started on the second floor and spread to the attic. It was contained to those two places.

Firefighters had to saw through parts of the roof to allow the heavy smoke to escape. Officials said getting into the attic was difficult.

The Red Cross is assisting the four people who lived at the home - three adults and one teenager.

“Our crews made entry, knocked down a bulk of the fire. There were reports subjects were possibly inside, they performed a primary search, found nobody inside,” said Watertown Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Hayman.

There were no injuries reported.

One person in the second floor apartment was home at the time of the fire and escaped after being awakened by their dog, which perished in the blaze, officials said. A cat also died. Two other cats were rescued and were unharmed.

Officials said there were no working smoke detectors in the duplex.

Firefighters battle blaze at 307 South Rutland Street
Firefighters battle blaze at 307 South Rutland Street(WWNY)

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