Firefighters and a sprinkler system stopped a fire at 47 Floral St., in Bath Sunday morning before anyone was seriously injured. DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

BATH

Residents escaped safely from Seacliff Apartments, which provides housing for the elderly and disabled, when a fire broke out at one of the apartments at 47 Floral St. Sunday morning.

The fire was reported at 10:17 a.m. and drew firefighters from multiple communities. The building is owned by Bath Housing.

“The guys made a tremendous stop,” said Bath Fire Chief Lawrence Renaud.

The six-member crew on duty was able to extinguish the flames and upward of 50 firefighters quickly responded from Bath and the neighboring towns including Brunswick, West Bath, Woolwich, Phippsburg and Topsham.

The building houses 36 single bedroom apartment units and four two-bedroom apartments, according to the Bath Housing Authority’s website.

Given the time of the day and type of structure, there was concern the tenant was inside the apartment when the fire broke out, but Renaud said the person was located elsewhere.

“The sprinkler system in the hallways did activate so I think that was in our favor as well,” Renaud said. “I can’t advocate enough about sprinkler systems. They do save property and lives.”

A second floor apartment had a window open above the ground-floor apartment where flames were shooting from the window, causing smoke damage.

For the most part, there doesn’t seem to be any structural damage to the second floor, Renaud said. There are at least six units with water damage on the first floor and two with smoke damage on the second floor that are uninhabitable. The cause and origin of the fire haven’t been determined.

DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

The American Red Cross was called to assist residents who may have been displaced by the fire. Bath Housing staff also responded because they know the building and their clientele.

“It’s a coordinated effort,” he said.

“The community support and effort and collaboration between all the fire departments, I couldn’t say enough about them,” said Debora Keller, Bath Housing Executive Director. “LifeChurch has just sprung forward to assist us.”

The LifeChurch, based at the senior center next door, took in and fed residents while Bath Housing staff worked to make sure everyone was accounted for. Keller planned to be working with the Sagadahoc County Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to make sure everyone’s needs are taken care of.

According to its social media page, Bath Housing is working with the Red Cross on a temporary relocation plan for some residents.

“This is something we train for,” Keller said. “We hope that it will never happen. Our priority is that nobody is injured and that nobody has been transported and we’re working on making sure that everybody is taken care of.”

Seacliff Apartments residents and staff train for fire alarms and building evacuations, she said.

Renaud said one firefighter tripped during the operation Sunday but wasn’t injured. Another bruised their hand or wrist but didn’t need to be taken to the hospital.

An elderly resident was transported to the hospital for evaluation about an hour after the fire was reported, possibly due to anxiety but not due to injury from the fire.

Firefighters cleared the scene three hours after the fire was reported. Renaud expected to be back at the building investigating Tuesday with members of the state fire marshal’s office.

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