Two vans and a carport were destroyed in a one-alarm fire that prompted the evacuation of a nearby apartment building in Richmond early Thursday morning, a fire battalion chief said.
Crews responded to reports of a car fire in the 400 block of South Ninth Street around 2:30 a.m., Richmond fire Battalion Chief Merlin Turner said.
Firefighters arrived to find two vans serving as makeshift homes and a carport engulfed in flames. The fire spread to an unoccupied house and a four-plex housing about 20 residents, which had to be evacuated, Turner said.
Crews were able to control the blaze in about 30 minutes, he said.
The two people living in the gutted vans were displaced, but the residents of the apartment building were able to return to their homes later this morning, the battalion chief said.
The fire, which started in one of the two vans, may be smoking or cooking-related, he said.
Turner said the blaze caused an estimated $160,000 in damage to the unoccupied house, the four-plex, two vehicles and their contents.
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