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Candles spark apartment fire

An apartment fire caused by unattended candles burned hot, but did minimal damage in Forest Grove last week.

The fire began around 9:10 p.m. after tea light candles burning inside a paper ice cream container ignited the container and magazines beneath inside an apartment on 21st Avenue, just behind Maggie's Buns café. Nearby curtains provided fuel for the fire as it spread from the bedroom of the apartment into the adjoining closet.

Firefighter arrived from the nearby fire station on Ash Street just a minute after the dispatch call and quickly isolated and extinguished the fire.

According to Forest Grove fire inspector David Nemeyer, it could have been much worse.

'From what I understand from the fire suppression crews it was a very warm fire,' said Nemeyer. 'They were very lucky that that part of the block didn't take off.'

The fire caused about $5,000 in damage to the apartment and smoke and heat crawled through a ventilation duct into a storage closet in the adjacent restaurant. There were no injuries.

'Had [the response] been a couple minutes later I'm sure the fire would have been into Maggie's and that wouldn't have been good at all,' Nemeyer said.