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Smoldering AC unit blamed for Murray rooftop fire

Calling it a "potentially big, nasty situation," Murray fire crews were able to contain a fire to one apartment unit early Sunday and safely evacuate units.
Calling it a "potentially big, nasty situation," Murray fire crews were able to contain a fire to one apartment unit early Sunday and safely evacuate units.
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MURRAY — Calling it a "potentially big, nasty situation," Murray fire crews were able to contain a rooftop fire to one apartment unit early Sunday and safely evacuate units.

Murray Deputy Fire Marshal Pat Killion said a couple on the third floor of the Creekside East Apartment Complex, 5324 S. 570 East, noticed their apartment was hotter than normal about 2 a.m. and they detected an unusual smell. The couple decided at that point simply to go to sleep in another room, he said.

About 6:30 a.m., however, the other room was also very hot and this time the couple saw smoke coming from the eves of the roof, Killion said. They called 911 and fire crews responded.

Upon arrival, Killion said firefighters discovered an air conditioning unit that had likely been smoldering for hours had nearly burned through the roof of the couple's apartment.

"The unit itself was half caved-in to the apartment," he said.

The couple and several cats were able to get out safely. Because the smoke was still on the outside of the apartment, their smoke detectors did not go off, Killion said. Firefighters also evacuated about 35 tenants from several nearby units, and kicked the doors in on a couple of units to make sure everyone was out.

The fire was contained in about 20 minutes. It damaged an approximately 10 x 10 section of roof and left the unit underneath uninhabitable.

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