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Cigar May Have Sparked Penn Hills Fire

PENN HILLS (KDKA) -- A cigar is believed to be the cause of a fire at a Penn Hills apartment building early Friday morning.

The fire broke out around 7 a.m. and reportedly filled the building, which is located along Frankstown Road, with smoke.

According to officials at the scene, one of the residents – living on a lower floor – reportedly fell asleep and his cigar may have sparked the blaze.

"I had a cigar in the ash tray. I set it down on the chair and I forgot all about it… that I put it there and it caught the place on fire," said resident Mark Cunningham. "I thought I better get out of there before I burn up."

Penn Hills firefighters got to the scene quickly.

Officials say four residents living on an upstairs floor were woken up by firefighters knocking on their doors. They were able to get out safely.

"Initially, we had a report of four males that were unaccounted for," said Assistant Chief Bill Jeffcoat, of the Penn Hills Fire Department. "Once we did that, the person that told us gave us the apartment that they were in. Crews went up, found those individuals. They were sleeping, didn't hear the fire alarm going off."

The 18-unit apartment was evacuated and the fire was taken care off quickly. No injuries were reported.

While the cause of the fire appears accidental the Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating. There is no word on damages.

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