St Albans blaze leaves apartment building a total loss

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ST ALBANS — A fire swept through a three-unit apartment building at 59 Bank Street on Dec. 23, causing extensive damage and displacing residents, officials said.

The St Albans Fire Department responded to the blaze at 12:54 p.m. after reports of heavy smoke and fire at the property owned by Thomas and Kimberly O’Brien of Colchester.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered black smoke billowing from the porch and flames erupting from a first-floor window.

Crews from Swanton, St Albans Town, Georgia, and Milton provided mutual aid, battling the fire for several hours before extinguishing it.

Fire Chief Matthew Mulheron, after surveying the scene, sought the expertise of the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit to determine the fire’s cause.

Investigators pinpointed the fire’s origin to the laundry room on the building’s east side, where it ignited in a dryer before spreading to nearby items.

Efforts by tenant Krzysztof Kaminski to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher were unsuccessful.

The building, also home to tenants David Brueckner and Brandon Coburn of St Albans, sustained severe damage from the fire, heat, smoke, and water.

It is currently deemed a total loss, with estimated damages exceeding $500,000.

Authorities have classified the incident as accidental.

Fortunately, there were no reported injuries to occupants or firefighting personnel.

The affected tenants have since secured alternative accommodations in the community.

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