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Torch Used To Singe Squirrel May Have Sparked Fire

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HOLLAND TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a person using a propane torch to turn a squirrel into a meal may have sparked an apartment complex fire that displaced dozens of people in southwestern Michigan.

The fire broke out around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Clearview Apartments near Holland in Ottawa County.

Fire Chief Jim Kohsel said a resident was apparently using the torch to remove the animal’s fur on a third-floor deck of the apartment complex. Flames spread to the roof, and Kohsel says eight apartments were destroyed and others damaged. In total, 32 apartments are damaged and can not be inhabited.

The resident’s name wasn’t immediately released.

Kohsel says a firefighter who responded had a broken toe. No residents were injured.

Tiffany Camburn, who lived in the building, told The Holland Sentinel that apartment complex workers and police went door-to-door, evacuating residents.

The American Red Cross arranged for temporary shelter and clothing for displaced residents.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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