Firefighters had to rescue two people from second-floor deck

The cause of an apartment fire that displaced four families remains under investigation.

The call came in at 3:46 a.m. Sunday from the Havelock Manor Apartments on Shipman Road.

“It started in the kitchen around the stove area,” said John Lewis, fire marshal for the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department. “We know the where. We’re not exactly sure of the how or the reason. There doesn’t appear to be any malicious intent of any kind.”

When firefighters arrived, flames were already emerging from the back roof of the two-story complex. Two people had to be rescued.

“The next door neighbors upstairs, they woke up and when they went to go out the front door, they couldn’t go out because of all the smoke,” Lewis said. “They went to the back deck and from there the firefighters put up a ladder and got them down.”

No one was injured in the fire that burned through the roof of the apartment complex.

“Nobody got hurt. Thanks goodness nobody got hurt,” Lewis said.

Havelock, Cherry Point and Township 6 fire departments all responded to the blaze. Residents from nearby apartments were evacuated as a precaution.

Lewis said the fire didn’t present any unique problems for firefighters.

“Once they got there, there first line went around the back and then they went upstairs and got into the apartment,” he said. “It took about 10 minutes to get it out. There was a lot of fire in the attic and we stayed on scene for those hot spots for a while.”

He said fire damage was contained to the apartment where the fire started, but the other upstairs unit had significant smoke and heat damage. The downstairs units also had smoke and water damage.

The American Red Cross is assisting the impacted families.

Havelock Manor has 60 rental units and can house up to 220 people when fully occupied, according to the website Affordable Housing Online.