Cooking Caused "Raging" Apartment Fire

By David Chang and Dan Stamm
|  Friday, Sep 6, 2013  |  Updated 12:17 PM EDT
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Residents of the Cantebury Apartments in Bear, Del. were left picking up the pieces after a

NBC10 - Jesse Gary

Residents of the Cantebury Apartments in Bear, Del. were left picking up the pieces after a "raging" fire burned through the upper floors. NBC10's Jesse Gary reports.

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A kitchen fire caused set off the raging apartment complex fire in Bear, Delaware on Labor Day.

The quick-burning fire left one resident hospitalized, a firefighter hurt, one dozen others out of their homes and caused $1 million in damage.

"The whole roof just went up," said resident Bobby Tolls. "It was raging, the flames were very high, about 20 feet, probably."

WDEL-AM reports that the Office of the State Fire Marshal determined that the fire began in a third-floor apartment kitchen at the Village of Canterbury apartments. Officials say cooking materials on the stovetop ignited.

An unidentified resident was hospitalized in serious condition after the two-alarm blaze broke out shortly after 8:30 p.m. Monday at the complex on the 5600 block of Byron Court.

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Christiana Fire Company Chief Rich Perillo says the first firefighters to arrive found flames shooting from the third floor.

"Guys worked as a good team," said Christiana Fire Dept. Deputy Chief Billy Anderson, Jr. "One group held the fire in check, while the other searched the apartment in pretty bad intense heat conditions and were able to find him quickly. Another couple of minutes and they wouldn't have been able to make the apartment at all."

A firefighter battling the blaze was treated and released with a neck injury.

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