Debris catches fire, burns second floor balcony of Niceville apartment

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staff report

NICEVILLE — A fire that may have been suspicious in origin burned the second story balcony of a Niceville apartment, filling the unit with smoke.

The Bluewater Boulevard fire, which was called into North Bay Fire Department at just after 7 p.m. Wednesday, started on the balcony of a first floor unit, according to Chief Byron Bennett.

It appeared to have started in some debris that was stacked in a corner, but the tenants said they hadn’t been home since about 1 that afternoon, he siad.

“I actually called the state fire marshal just to take another look at it,” he said.

As the fire grew, it went up the side of the wall into the ceiling of the second story balcony, where it burned through the wood.

Bennett estimated that the damage was about $10,000.

He called in the American Red Cross to help the family in the second floor unit, since their apartment had filled up with smoke, leaving it temporarily uninhabitable.

“It was so cold the smoke stayed in there,” he said.

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