REPORT: Starkville fire chief says careless smoker caused Crossgates fire

By The Columbus Commercial Dispatch

A discarded cigarette started the fire at Crossgates Apartments Tuesday evening, Starkville Fire Department Chief Rodger Mann announced Thursday, The Columbus Commercial Dispatch reported.

The cigarette was discarded in a flower bed outside Building 19 and ignited pine straw, Mann said. The fire then spread to Building 19 and the high winds carried hot air and embers across the parking lot to buildings 20 and 21, he said. All three buildings were destroyed in the blaze and four others were damaged by smoke and heat.

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