AUGUSTA  — Investigators at the Office of State Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of a fire Thursday that damaged an apartment at 23 Winthrop St.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday the Augusta Fire Department was called to the three-story building just west of the city’s historic downtown neighborhood after a passerby reported hearing a smoke alarm and seeing smoke coming from the building.

Battalion Chief Brian Chamberlin said when firefighters arrived, they saw smoke coming from a first-floor apartment and two people outside who said the fire had been put out.

Firefighters checked inside and found a fire had started on the stove and had burned materials there and a nearby shelf, Chamberlin said. They removed the smoldering materials, checked to see whether the fire had spread and used a fan to ventilate the building.

The occupant of the apartment was taken to the hospital, treated for mild smoke inhalation and was released two hours later, he said, and returned home.

Because of the injury, the state fire marshal’s office was called in to investigate the cause of the fire. The office didn’t immediately respond Friday to a request for information.

The three-story building, which is owned by 23 Winthrop St. LLC, is valued at $220,100 for property tax purposes.

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