Park Avenue apartment fire caused by unattended cooking

The cause of last week’s apartment house fire on Park Avenue that displaced 15 tenants has been ruled accidental, city Assistant Fire Chief Mark Killian.

The fire at 324-326 Park Ave. on Feb. 25 began in Belinda Diggs’ first-floor apartment of the three-story 12-unit apartment building and was sparked by unattended cooking by a family member about 2:30 a.m., Killian said

City firefighters rescued two men from a third-floor apartment and a third tenant from another apartment on the same floor at the front of the building.

Besides Diggs, others displaced by the two-alarm blaze were: Keith Redden, the building’s owner; Jeremy Weston, James Jackson, Amanda Correa, Tania Andino, Kendall Jackson, Nadirah Charles, Jazlyn Hahn, Jerald Jordan, Rebecca Orr, Ryan Waring and three juveniles.

Initially the fire department said 16 were homeless, but one person in their original list of tenants turned out to be spending the night in the building and did not actually live there.

No damage estimate has been set, but the building has been condemned by the city’s Codes Department due to the fire.

Another building condemned due to fire damage was 320 Walnut St., where three men, alerted by working smoke alarms, were displaced by a fire that broke out in a wall in a second-floor wall and spread to the attic about 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Killian said.

Displaced in this fire were Laughlin Jennings, Tim Harris and Robert Wheeland Jr. Damage caused by this fire, which was electrical in nature, was at least $5,000.

On Sunday afternoon, firefighters responded to 1183 High St. when a an overheated electrical power strip filled the house with smoke and activated a smoke alarm. No one was displaced as a result of this incident.

Firefighters responded to 809 Sheridan St., the Sheridan Plaza apartment complex, just before 2 p.m. Wednesday when an electrical short occurred in an underground power line, filling a laundry room with smoke.

There was no serious damage and a PPL crew came to the complex and made the necessary repairs.