NEW BEDFORD — A heavy fire broke out Wednesday night in a New Bedford apartment building just outside of downtown.

The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. in Apartment 5G at the Harborview Towers apartment complex at 60 South Second Street.

New Bedford District Fire Chief James Fortin tells WBSM News he was the first on the scene.

"We had fire blowing out of the fifth floor window. It was already starting to come out on the patio and it was already starting to jump to the sixth floor," said Fortin. "It did not enter the sixth floor apartment. We were able to stop it before it made that jump."

The entire complex was evacuated as firefighters battled the blaze for the better part of an hour, with the fire deemed under control at 9:20 p.m.

The fifth floor apartment sustained heavy fire, smoke, and water damage, with the exterior of the sixth floor directly above it also sustaining visible fire damage to the exterior.

Chief Fortin says the occupant of Apartment 5G was not home when the fire started, but there may have been a family pet inside. "That has not been confirmed at this time."

No injuries were reported.

As of 10 p.m. firefighters remained on scene to extinguish lingering hot spots.

Fortin says the tenants of 5G and the apartment above it will be displaced.

New Bedford Fire Chief Michael Gomes tells WBSM News that as many as 14 apartments may have suffered some kind of damage, but that residents of four of the apartments were not permitted to return to their homes last night.

Gomes said the damage is estimated at between $80-$100,000, not including cleanup.

Jennifer Mieth, spokesperson for the state fire marshal, tells WBSM News no cause has been determined as of yet, but the fire does appear to have been accidental.

The Harborview Towers complex, comprised of two buildings, contains 144 units and is managed by Reliant Realty Services, LLC.

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