Smoking to blame for Sturgis fire

Fire inspectors spent the day Wednesday looking for clues related to a blaze that caused extensive damage to a Sturgis residence. Careless smoking was determined to be the apparent cause.
Cpt. Cody Cripe of the Sturgis Fire Department said officials were called around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to a residence in the 300 block of South Clay Street.
Upon arrival, Sturgis Fire Department members found heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the structure. Cripe said firefighters rapidly searched the home to confirm that all occupants had safely exited.
Firefighters faced heavy smoke and heat while searching the residence and extinguishing the fire, which was contained to one room.
The second floor of the home, however, sustained a large amount of damage. Firefighters were present until just after 3 a.m., overhauling the building and extinguishing hot spots.
One occupant suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, and was transported to Sturgis Hospital.
Sturgis Electric and Michigan Gas Utilities were called to the scene to shut off services.

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