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No injuries in electrical fire at downtown apartment complex

Building evacuated at N. Romney Street

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UPDATE: 4:50 p.m.

Mark Ruppel, public information officer for Charleston Fire Department, says the second search of the apartment building revealed that no one was trapped inside. The fire was electrical in nature and started in the back bedroom area of Apartment 101C.

Ruppel says all 16 units in Building 100 were affected, whether by water, fire, or smoke, and that the American Red Cross was offering assistance to all 27 residents, including 12 children.

Early news reports in other publications referred to the apartment complex as Bayside Manor. That is the old name of the complex; it has been renamed Bridgeview Village Apartments.

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UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.

The fire occurred at Building 100 of the apartment complex. An initial search, performed shortly after the fire department was called at 10:33 a.m., showed no one was in the building, but a roof collapse forced the firefighters to evacuate before they could conduct a second, more thorough search of the premises.

Around 11:13 a.m., with the fire more under control after firefighters had soaked the building from two sides, they went in for a second search, using axes to break through doors and windows. As of 11:30 a.m., Public Information Officer Mark Ruppel of the Charleston Fire Department said they had not found anyone inside. No residents or firefighters had been injured.

While Ruppel said it was still too early to tell how the fire started, a resident from a neighboring building said she first saw a little bit of smoke coming from a first-floor apartment and thought it was only food burning in the kitchen.

Firefighters responded from Charleston, North Charleston, and St. Andrews, along with Charleston police and Charleston County EMS. Ruppel estimated there were at least 45 firefighters on the scene.

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A fire has broken out at Bridgeview Village Apartments at 100 North Romney St. So far, only one building has been affected, and no one has been injured, according to Paul Bowers of the City Paper. However, firefighters were forced to evacuate the apartment building when the roof collapsed.

Although Bowers reports that the firefighters largely have the fire under control, at one point flames could be seen from the City Paper offices on Morrison Drive. Smoke has also blanketed much of the Morrison Drive area, particularly around the recycling center.

As of 11 am, firetrucks were still responding to the fire.

Video, photos, and additional information will follow.

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