Friday, June 29th, 2012
Cigarette likely cause of fire at Westlake Village
By William Kincaid
CELINA - A discarded cigarette likely started a fire that caused extensive damage to a Westlake Village condominium complex on June 21.
"We think it was a cigarette butt on the second floor balcony," Celina Fire Department Chief Doug Wolters said this morning. "It was definitely accidental."
He estimated damage at $1.1 million. Some condominium owners' insurance companies hired private investigators, and their investigations are almost finished, Wolters said. He declined to elaborate further on the fire.
The State Fire Marshal's Office also has completed its investigation and concurred with the local fire department's assessment.
The largest portion of damage was sustained to the middle unit of three adjoining buildings along West Bank Road. Flames were shooting through the roof of the three-story structure when firefighters arrived at 4:15 p.m. No injuries were reported. More than two dozen occupants were in the building when the fire broke out, officials said.
Several area fire departments helped fight the blaze.
The building, owned by Westlake Development, is facing foreclosure after court action was filed by Citizens National Bank of Bluffton in November.