Cause of major blaze at Essen apartment complex remains undetermined

Cause of major blaze at Essen apartment complex remains undetermined

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Fire investigators from several agencies said they were unable to determine what sparked a massive blaze at a Baton Rouge apartment complex at the beginning of October.

Fire investigators from St. George Fire Department, Baton Rouge Fire Department, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives looked into the major fire that started shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday, October 6 at the Cobblestone apartment complex.

Eight trucks from the St. George Fire Department and five from the Baton Rouge Fire Department battled the flames that started in one building and quickly spread to another building in the complex.

The roof of the rear building was removed. Around 3 p.m., the fire was considered to be under control, but officials said both buildings were destroyed and five vehicles were either severely damaged or destroyed.

They added that three other buildings in the complex and two more from Citiscape Apartments, which is a neighboring property located on Mancuso Lane, had exterior damage due to radiant heat from the intense flames.

When the blaze occurred, officials said it appears the fire started on the outside of the first building and spread from there. Investigators said the cause of the fire remains undetermined because the destruction of the building where the fire originated "was too complete."

Investigators stressed that there was no evidence of human involvement in the fire, accidental or otherwise.

EMS transported two residents to the hospital for treatment because of the fire. They were expected to recover without issue. A firefighter and a deputy were also treated at the scene for fire-related injuries.

Officials said 18 apartments were destroyed with 36 families displaced. American Red Cross was on the scene to help families.

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