VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Investigators believe that careless smoking may have started an apartment fire that displaced up to 19 people in Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the blaze was reported just after 7 a.m. Sunday in Virginia Beach. First responders rescued four people from the Willow Lake Apartments & Spa. Two police officers were taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

When fire crews arrived, they saw two women calling for help from a balcony and rescued them. Police officers rescued two other residents.

All eight units in one of the apartment community’s buildings suffered heavy structural damage.

Investigators believe careless disposal of smoking materials may have started the fire.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

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