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Cigarette blamed for fire at High Point East apartments

Wichita firefighters battle a blaze at High Point East Apartments, 9400 E. Lincoln Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Multiple fire units were called to the fire near Lincoln and Webb road and quickly moved into a defensive mode to get the flames under control before firefighters could enter the building.
Wichita firefighters battle a blaze at High Point East Apartments, 9400 E. Lincoln Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Multiple fire units were called to the fire near Lincoln and Webb road and quickly moved into a defensive mode to get the flames under control before firefighters could enter the building. The Wichita Eagle

A cigarette left on a balcony is being blamed for the blaze that destroyed one apartment building and caused significant smoke damage in another at a southeast Wichita complex Thursday.

The fire at High Point East apartments, 9400 E. Lincoln, left about 20 families without homes and caused an estimated $750,000 in damage to structures and contents, officials said.

The cigarette was discarded into a plastic container on a second-floor balcony of Building 600, Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said. Building 100 was also evacuated because smoke was blowing into the structure from the flames.

The fire was reported just before 3 p.m. and quickly burned out of control. Two people suffered minor smoke inhalation.

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