Smoking materials possible cause of Manhattan Founders Hill apartment fire

A fire started in Founders Hill apartment complex midafternoon on Oct. 17, 2016. The fire was brought under control by the Manhattan Fire Department around 6:30 p.m. the same day. (Austin Fuller | The Collegian)

“Improperly disposed of smoking materials” may have been the cause of Monday’s fire at Founders Hill Apartments, according to a Tuesday afternoon press release from the Manhattan Fire Department.

“Improperly disposed of smoking materials were found in the area of origin and could not be ruled out as the cause,” the press release said.

Investigators determined the fire originated in the southwest corner of the building on a second-floor balcony. The building has now been released to the owners, First Management Inc. of Lawrence, Kansas.

Aided by a strong wind, the fire swept through the attic and balconies of Building G at the apartment complex at 1401 College Ave. It burned for approximately four hours.

Additionally, 41 of the 91 residents of the building are still displaced because of the fire.

The Office of Student Life at Kansas State had an informational meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday for students affected by the fire and needing resources. Student Life said people wanting to help may call the American Red Cross at 844-334-7569.

The loss of the building was originally estimated at $2 million, but has now been raised to $3.5 million. Another $500,000 was estimated in loss to contents of the building.

A Twitter poll conducted by the Collegian showed that nine percent of the 134 respondents were affected in some way by the fire.

Jason Tidd graduated from Kansas State University's Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2017. He was the spring 2017 editor-in-chief, fall 2016 news editor and spring 2016 assistant news editor. While at K-State, Jason played baritone in the Pride of Wildcat Land marching band.