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Smoking causes Beach apartment fire

A Niagara Regional Police officer is credited with averting tragedy when he helped a resident flee a burning apartment in Crystal Beach Friday morning.

Constable Mike Fletcher spotted smoke on Lake Avenue not far from the Waterfront Park around 7 a.m. He alerted the occupants and entered the converted house to help one of the residents get out.

“The fire had a pretty good hold on it when we got there,” said deputy fire chief Keith German.

It took about an hour and half to extinguish the fire caused by careless smoking in the four-unit building.

Damage was extensive with two units burned and the others damaged from smoke.

The age and construction of the 70-year-old wood and brick building exacerbated the damage and the challenge of fighting the fire, German said.

Equipment and personnel were called in from Crescent Park and Fort Erie to support firefighters from Crystal Beach and Ridgeway who were fighting the blaze.

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