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Spartan Village apartment fire ruled accidental

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Fire Department has ruled a fire that destroyed an under-construction apartment building at UNC-Greensboro’s developing Spartan Village to be accidental.

Deputy Fire Chief Clarence Hunter said Tuesday the department has completed it’s “physical” investigation of the March 14 fire, but “a final determination of the cause is dependent upon the forensic analysis various pieces of evidence.”

The forensic analysis could take up to three weeks to complete, Hunter said.  It is being performed by an independent lab.

Hunter says further details will be released as soon as the analysis is finished.

No other new information was provided.

The four-alarm blaze broke out the night of Thursday, March 14 at an unoccupied building on West Lee Street.

About 75 firefighters responded to the scene shortly before 9 p.m.

The next-door Lofts on Lee apartment building, which houses about 30 UNCG students, was evacuated as a precaution.  About 17 students were in the Lofts apartments when the fire broke out, firefighters said.

No injuries were reported.

UNCG officials said affected students were assigned housing and received assistance from university officials in addition to the Red Cross.

All lanes of West Lee Street were closed between South Aycock Street and Silver Avenue for more than two days, the same weekend during which the ACC Men’s Basketball tournament was taking place at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

The apartment building that suffered the most damage was one of four residence halls that was to be part of the new Spartan Village.  Upon completion, it was expected to house about 200 upperclassmen.  A 25,000-square-foot police station was also to be part of the complex, which was initially expected to be complete by the summer.