HAMMOND The fire that destroyed seven apartments at the Columbia Pointe complex in Hammond Sunday has been ruled accidental by the Clatsop County Fire Investigation Team.
The cause of the fire has been determined to be a smokers carelessness, with a discarded cigarette butt in the upper-floor apartment where the blaze started, according to Warrenton Fire Chief Ted Ames.
He said, contrary to what the fire department previously reported, the resident was not at the apartment at the time of the fire.
The complex is worth between $2.5 and $4 million.
Damage is estimated at between $500,000 and $600,000, Ames said.
The owners of the complex, Columbia Pointe Apartments LLC, are based in Portland. They came to Hammond and walked through the damaged complex Monday afternoon.
The fire investigation is now complete. Seven households totaling 11 people were displaced. The American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter is assisting the residents.