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Unattended grill caused massive July 4 fire in State College

More than 40 people displaced after fire

By Marc Stempka

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Fire officials in Centre County said an unattended grill caused a massive fire that displaced more than 40 people at an apartment complex in State College.

Officials confirmed to 6 News reporter Gary Sinderson that the fire at the Waupelani Heights apartment complex on July 4 was sparked by a hot charcoal grill.

Officials said a resident was grilling on a third-floor balcony and after grilling, moved the grill against the side of the building on the balcony.

The resident, who officials did not identify, then left the apartment after cooking. While the charcoal in the grill remained hot, the heat and embers started a fire that quickly spread up the wall to the roof, officials said.

The fire was reported just after 8 p.m. on July 4 and took fire crews several hours to control the flames.  

Several Centre region agencies have been assisting those who have been displaced by the fire, previous 6 News reports indicated.

There was no specific damage estimate from the fire, but its expected to be more than $1 million, officials said.

Stay with 6 News, and WJAC-TV mobile for more on this developing story.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times