Downtown Dayton Monument apartment building catches fire

Proximity of fire station, sprinkler on balcony where fire started helped minimize damage at building that opened this spring

A fire broke out on the balcony of a new downtown Dayton apartment building shortly after 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, resulting in a large response from fire and emergency medical personnel.

The blaze occurred on the balcony of a fifth floor apartment in the Monument building, which is a 124-unit residential structure located along Monument Avenue, across from RiverScape MetroPark. The Monument opened in the spring.

Fire officials and residents in the building said fire and EMS crews arrived on the scene within minutes, and the blaze was quickly extinguished.

One of the Dayton Fire Department’s fire stations is located about a block away, at North Main Street and Monument Avenue.

District fire Chief Nicholas Judge said the Monument’s balconies have water sprinklers, and the fire suppression activated, which helped battle the fire.

Firefighters entered the unit and completely knocked out the blaze using fire extinguishers.

“We don’t have a whole lot of information yet — we’re still trying to figure out what happened,” Judge said.

The fire started to extend up to the balcony above, but the exterior sprinkler head “did its job and pretty much held the fire in check,” he said.

Judge said the fire damaged and broke the balcony door, but there appears to be minimal smoke damage to the fifth floor apartment.

“Everybody was very lucky, and it’s a newer constructed building that’s completely up to code, and the outside sprinkler did its job and averted a much bigger catastrophe,” he said. “We had crews on scene very, very quickly.”

Karla White, 48, who lives on the sixth floor of the Monument, left her apartment and headed outside when she heard the alarm.

At first, she assumed it was a fire drill. But the large fire response made it clear this was the real deal. She also saw water gushing from the fifth floor balcony.

White just finished moving into her apartment on Monday. She said she moved to the Monument because she fell in love with the kitchen and she really likes how close she lives to RiverScape and downtown’s shopping and dining options and amenities.

“We have wonderful neighbors too,” she said. “We’re really happy here.”

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