Firefighters pull down the gable on an exterior wall Saturday to extinguish any hot spots at a 12-unit apartment building at 36 Malta St. in Augusta. Officials said the fire displaced more than 30 people, five of whom were injured.

AUGUSTA — The cause of an apartment building fire early Saturday that displaced more than 30 residents, five of whom were injured, on Malta Street will remain undetermined, according to the Office of State Fire Marshal.

Ken Grimes, investigations supervisor with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said Monday the cause of the fire is listed as undetermined due to the extensive damage.

Grimes said it would be unsafe for investigators to perform further duties in the building.

“The structural integrity of the building — the walls, chimney and floor — is such that we were worried about collapses in the wind,” Grimes said. “There’s nothing that indicates this is anything other than an accident.”

He said the fire may have started between the first and second floor, but that was based on information gathered from witnesses.

Firefighters work to extinguish hot spots left in walls Saturday at a 12-unit apartment building at 36 Malta St. in Augusta. Officials said the fire displaced more than 30 people, five of whom were injured.

Firefighters responded at 4:54 a.m. Saturday to a report of a fire at the 12-unit apartment building at 36 Malta St.

Fire Chief Roger Audette said initial responders immediately began rescuing tenants, using ladders to gain access to the second and third floors.

In an email to Augusta officials, Audette lauded the group of firefighters that rescued nine people from windows or escape platforms.

“They faced an overwhelming situation and performed beyond expectations,” Audette wrote.

Bob Ferreira, who lived on the building’s second floor, said his wife burst into the bedroom while he was sleeping and alerted him to the fire after she heard the fire alarm. He said he and his wife were able to get their 1-week-old baby and their 4-year-old child out safely.

“When I opened the door to the hallway, it was black (with smoke),” Ferreira said. “I could not see, even down the stairs.”

Audette said a woman initially escaped from the building, but ran back inside to gather belongings and became trapped. She then jumped from a third-story escape platform.

Four others were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation, he said.

Audette said occupants from 11 of the 12 units reported they were alerted to the blaze by smoke detectors.

“There is no doubt that these working smoke detectors saved lives,” Audette wrote in his email.

Smoke and steam rise from the collapsed roof of a 12-unit apartment building Saturday morning at 36 Malta St. in Augusta. Officials said blaze displaced more than 30 people, five of whom were injured.

Ann Kim, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Maine, said the organization is helping 25 people affected by the fire. She said volunteers are helping with clothing and living arraignments, as well as emotional support services and medication.

The damaged property is owned by Daniel and Kathleen Szatkowski of Boston, according to city tax records.

The Kennebec Journal was unable to reach the owners Monday.

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