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Early morning fire damages apartment building

Temporary Captain Jeremy New extinguishes hot spots from the 75-foot aerial ladder of Truck 1 following a major building fire Sunday morning at 400 Valencia Drive.
Temporary Captain Jeremy New extinguishes hot spots from the 75-foot aerial ladder of Truck 1 following a major building fire Sunday morning at 400 Valencia Drive.
Firefighter Travis Foreman operates the pump controls of Engine 2 as Temporary Captain Jeremy New takes a breather during operations at the building fire Sunday morning at 400 Valencia Drive.
Firefighter Travis Foreman operates the pump controls of Engine 2 as Temporary Captain Jeremy New takes a breather during operations at the building fire Sunday morning at 400 Valencia Drive.

Thirty firefighters from three fire departments were needed to extinguish a major building fire at the Bay Pointe Apartments at 400 Valencia Drive early Sunday morning.

Maumelle dispatchers took the initial 911 call at 4:16 am, which reported a fire inside an apartment in Building 14. Five career firefighters staffing Engine 1 and Engine 2 responded and found heavy black smoke coming from the building as they arrived.

Maumelle firefighters were soon supplemented by North Little Rock Engine Company 4, which is automatically requested to respond on building fires in Maumelle. Firefighters from both departments aggressively fought the fire inside the apartment, but it soon spread into the attic and began to burn through the roof.

Given the size of the fire, off-duty career firefighters were recalled to work in addition to volunteer firefighters who were dispatched on the initial alarm. A second engine company from North Little Rock and an engine company from Oak Grove were also brought to the scene to assist.

Using multiple hose lines, firefighters were able to stop the fire before it spread the length of the building, which contains 16 apartments. Two apartments were destroyed and six others suffered varying degrees of damage. Eight apartments were undamaged. There were fifteen occupants in the apartments affected by the fire and none reported injuries. All received assistance from the American Red Cross.

The fire started after a juvenile occupant set off fireworks inside a bedroom closet. A parent was home at the time of the fire, but asleep in bed. Fire investigators located evidence of the fireworks inside the closet after the fire was extinguished.

The Maumelle Police Department will forward a report to the prosecutor to determine if charges will be filed.

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