Three Rivers Apartments residents return after fire

Three Rivers Apartments residents forced out by a fire Monday evening were able to return Tuesday.

Fort Wayne Fire Department firefighters responded to a report of a blaze in a 14th floor apartment of the Three Rivers Apartments East building at 6:58 p.m. Monday.

Firefighters saw heavy smoke coming from the 14th floor, the top floor of the building. The fire had spread throughout the apartment and completely damaged the residence, according to a news release. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke conditions in the hallway but were able to quickly put out the blaze. Residents of the 14th floor were safely evacuated and three residents and two firefighters were evaluated by medics on the scene but no treatment was needed. One firefighter suffered a minor strain during the incident but did not require treatment, according to the release.

Residents of other floors were asked to remain in their apartments because of the building’s layout and the unlikely extension of smoke and/or fire reaching them, according to the release. It took some time to ventilate the upper floors from smoke.

Residents of the 14th floor were not allowed to return for the night because of the smoke and heat damage and the fire alarm system being inoperative. The fire department maintained crews overnight on fire watch and the American Red Cross was asked to assist displaced residents.

After contractors performed restoration duties and the alarm system was restored to service early Tuesday everyone was allowed back to their apartments except for those in the fire-damaged apartment and the one below it, which sustained water damage, according to the release.