The cause of a fire which heavily damaged a Rolla apartment building Thursday afternoon "appears to be accidental in nature," according to Chief Robert Williams, of the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue.
The fire, which was reported after 4 p.m. at the four-plex located at 2133 Tenbrink Drive, appears to have started on a couch under a deck on the ground floor, the chief said.
One of the ground level apartments was occupied and one of the residents noticed the fire and notified the department, Williams said.
The occupants were able to get out and no one was injured. A cat residents were concerned about was located by firefighters, Williams said.
Property damage, which includes damage to the structure and contents, was estimated between $350,000 and $500,000, according to Williams.
"There was heavy damage upstairs inside one apartment because of the way the fire traveled," Williams said, adding that there was also damage to the occupied apartment.
About 15 firefighters, three ladder trucks and one engine responded. One of the firefighters who responded said he could see smoke as he was traveling to the scene from Highway E, Williams said.
"Our guys did a tremendous job of getting the fire knocked down as quickly they did," Williams said. "They did one heck of a job ... In fire department terms, it was blowing and going."
The Rolla Rural Fire Protection District was called to stand by, and Williams said he appreciates their efforts.
The apartments are managed by Brown Rentals.