Heavy smoke from a stovetop fire forced about 50 residents out of their homes Saturday afternoon at Peyton Manor Apartments.
Lebanon Assistant fire Chief Jason Baird said firefighters responded at about 4:45 p.m. to the two-month-old apartments built for senior citizens.
“It went really well,” Baird said. “They had the place evacuated when we arrived, and we had good information.”
Baird said smoke from a second-story apartment greeted firefighters in the main lobby when they got there. He said a Peyton Manor employee had crawled into the apartment beneath the smoke to turn off the stove and open a window to allow the smoke to escape.
Baird said the residents were able to re-enter their homes after about 35 minutes.
“We went into smoke ejection mode to try to get the residents indoors as quickly as possible due to the low temperatures,” Baird said. “It was basically contained to that particular apartment. It really smoked things up pretty bad.”
Baird said the low temperatures also force quick action from the firefighters for another reason. He said the water in the trucks would freeze if kept in the cold for an extended period of time.
“We try to get our engines back in quarters as quickly as possible when it’s so cold,” Baird said.
Peyton Manor is at 460 Peyton Road in Lebanon and considered low-income housing for the elderly. The first residents moved into the apartments in November.