Careless smoking caused fire at Ephrata apartments, police say


An apartment building fire that displaced 14 people was caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes, police said.

The fire Thursday at the Friendship Community Home on Old Mill Road in Ephrata began on a second-story balcony, and wind caused the flames to spread quickly across the roof line.

Signs on the property state that smoking is not permitted.

The apartments were originally built for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities but have been open to everyone for the last two years.

No one was injured.

Five of those displaced have disabilities and rely on the apartments for housing. Officials said they’ve found temporary housing for those people but all of their possessions were destroyed.

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