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Duluth apartment fire displaces 7 families

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

DULUTH -- High winds proved an impediment for firefighters battling a Sunday afternoon apartment blaze that displaced seven Duluth families, officials said.

The American Red Cross is assisting families whose residences at 107 Howell Lane, near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, were damaged or destroyed by the 12:56 p.m. fire, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

Firefighters controlled the blaze in about 40 minutes, but not before flames tore through the roof of a ten-unit, two-story building. The cause appears accidental and could be related to an electrical problem, Rutledge said.

Investigators believe the fire started in a wall between units and raced to the attic and roof. No injuries were reported.

Rutledge said fire crews were hindered by heavy winds, the fire's swiftness and multiple callers who reported various fire locations.