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'Carelessly discarded smoking materials' the likely cause of Wichita apartment fire

The Wichita Fire Department told media at the scene that heavy winds helped drive an apartment fire at Aspen Park in west Wichita on Saturday afternoon.
The Wichita Fire Department told media at the scene that heavy winds helped drive an apartment fire at Aspen Park in west Wichita on Saturday afternoon. The Wichita Eagle

Sixteen apartment units are unlivable after a weekend apartment fire, Wichita Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis said.

The fire was reported at the Aspen Park Apartments, near Central and Tyler, just before 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Wichita Fire Department told local media at the scene on Saturday that heavy winds helped drive the west Wichita apartment fire throughout the building.

The two-alarm fire quickly became a defensive fire, according to tweets from the Wichita Fire Department. A defensive fire means it is unsafe for firefighters to fight the fire from inside the apartments.

"Investigators determined the cause of the fire to be accidental and the likely result of carelessly discarded smoking materials," Bevis said in an email statement.

On Sunday morning, all of building six was blocked off. Parts of the roof collapsed during the fire.

Bevis said the fire caused an estimated $1.4 million in damage to the structure and $150,000 to contents inside the apartments.

No injuries were reported.

A spokesperson with Aspen Park Apartments was not available for comment.

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