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ESCANABA – An Escanaba couple and their children are safe after a fire took place in their apartment.

According to the City of Escanaba Department of Public Safety, central dispatch received a 911 call yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 regarding a structure fire with occupants still inside the residence. The fire was in an upstairs apartment that was occupied by an Escanaba couple and three infant children.

Officers assisted the couple with the rescue of the infants, who were then evaluated by Rampart EMS personnel. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire by entering the upstairs apartment through a utility room on the east side of the building. Fire and smoke damage was contained to the east utility room with minimal water damage.

The quick action of the female occupant to close the door to the room where the fire started after being alerted by smoke alarms is credited for minimizing the potential disaster that could have occurred.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a discarded cigarette that fell into a small garbage can in the utility room causing paper products to ignite.

Escanaba Public Safety was assisted by Rampart EMS, Delta County Sheriff Department, Delta County Central Dispatch, The Red Cross, and bystanders willing to shovel snow from the hydrant. Escanaba Public Safety would also like to thank bystanders for their assistance in shoveling around a hydrant to allow officers to perform their firefighting duties quicker.