A fire broke out Monday at the Bullard Creek Apartments, damaging nine units and displacing the residents in each.

The Tyler Fire Department responded about 12:30 p.m. to reports of the blaze at 5621 Old Bullard Road, just south of West Rieck Road.

Upon arriving on scene, they saw fire coming from the second story and heavy smoke, according to a department news release. 

Fire investigators believe the fire began when a tenant in a downstairs apartment discarded a cigarette in a trash can.

The fire entered the chimney space and quickly spread to the second floor, according to a department news release.

One of the first arriving units noted seeing fire in the area where the trash can was located, and it matches the area investigators believe the fire started.

Firefighters controlled the blaze in about 30 minutes, and no one was injured.

Daniel Blevins, who lives in the apartment building, grabbed his pets and escaped the fire.

"I work nights and woke up to banging and smelled smoke and heard yelling," said Blevins, who works at East Texas Medical Center EMS. 

There wasn't smoke in his apartment, but the smell was strong. He got his lab mix, DB, and cat, Biggie Paws, out of the apartment. 

Bullard Creek management is working to find displaced residents another place to stay.


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