Public Safety

Fire intentionally set at Blairs Ferry apartment complex, investigators say

Officials trying to determine who started the blaze

Engine 1 pulls out of the Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Gazette file photo)
Engine 1 pulls out of the Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Gazette file photo)

Officials say a fire that broke out earlier this week at a Blairs Ferry Road apartment complex was set intentionally.

Investigators determined that an ignitable liquid was poured in the stairwell between the first and second floors of a three-story complex at 2131 Blairs Ferry Road NE, the Cedar Rapids Police announced Friday.

The blaze was reported about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, police said, and officers and firefighters were dispatched and advised that several people were trapped.

Two people were rescued from the third floor by officers who obtained a ladder from firefighters when they arrived on the scene, police said, while two more people jumped from upper floor windows onto cushions. Three people were transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

Officials said fire damage was primarily contained to the building’s stairwell, with minor to no damage found inside of the apartment units. There was, however, moderate smoke damage throughout the building, they said.

The fire investigation remains active, and investigators are working to determine who may have started the blaze.

Officials said seven apartment units remain empty as a result of the fire, causing nine people to be displaced. The American Red Cross is assisting several of those people.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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