Residents of a Blair apartment building escaped injury after one of the apartments was destroyed by fire Tuesday morning.

Blair Fire responded to the blaze at the Sutton Place Apartments, 1733 Lincoln St., just after 10 a.m.

Employees of a nearby business reported smoke coming from the building, which is directly across the street from the Blair Police Department.

Officers rushed to the building to alert residents, including the man who lived in the apartment that caught fire.

Thick, black smoke poured from the building as firefighters arrived. Fire Chief Joe Leonard said firefighters broke windows in the second floor apartment to ventilate the smoke.

“They couldn't see so they broke out a window. Once they broke the window out, then they could see the flames,” he said.

The fire started in the kitchen, Leonard said. A cause is not yet known. An investigator from the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's Office was en route.

Leonard said the fire was knocked down within 10 minutes of their arrive and under control within 15 minutes.

The entire building, which includes six apartments, suffered smoke damage. A lower level apartment had significant water and smoke damage, First Assistant Fire Chief Luke Jones said.

The apartment building, which was built in 1969, is part of a complex that includes three buildings. They are owned by AV Legacy Holdings of which Craig and Karen Aman of Blair are a part. 

“Nobody was hurt. That's the good news,” Craig said.

Fort Calhoun Fire also responded to the scene for mutual aid.

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