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Blotter: Denton firefighters investigate cause of apartment blaze

A two-alarm fire broke out near the attic of an apartment complex building at 2020 N. Elm St. about 5 p.m. Thursday. 

Assistant Chief Kenneth Hedges, spokesman for the Denton Fire Department, said more than 40 residents were displaced because of either damage to the units or that power could not be restored. 

He said the department received a call at 5 p.m. about smoke billowing from the top of a two-story apartment structure at the northeast corner of North Elm Street and Sherman Drive. 

Hedges said the origin of the fire was in the second story in the center of the building.

"The cause is under investigation," he said.

The source of the fire was not immediately known, but it appeared to be in an attic of one of the buildings.

The building was evacuated and no injuries were reported, but the American Red Cross responded to the scene Thursday evening, Hedges said.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire within the hour, he said.

Expired lab chemical leads to building evacuation at TWU

Texas Woman's University staff saw an expired lab chemical in the Old Main Building during a routine inventory check Thursday, forcing an evacuation of the building, according to university spokeswoman Deanna Titzler. 

The building was evacuated at 11:30 a.m.  so the city's hazardous materials team could remove the expired tetrahydrofuran and dispose of the chemical safely.

The chemical is flammable but "relatively" non-toxic,  according to the American Chemical Society website. 

It was removed safely by the team, and the building was clear for students, staff and faculty to return inside by 1 p.m., Titzler said.

Other reports 

127 North Woodrow Lane — The Denton County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of two recent scams in which the suspects ask victims for money to pay off a warrant. 

Both cases occurred within the past two weeks, officials said. The suspects accused the victims of missing jury duty and said they would have to pay a fine at a specific location to get out of an arrest, according to Capt. Orlando Hinojosa, a sheriff's office spokesman. 

In one instance, the suspect asked the victim to drive to a local Walgreens pharmacy and deposit money onto a secured Green Dot credit card, Hinojosa said. 

In the second alleged scam, the suspects asked the victim to fill out a money order for about $500 and bring the money to a specific location. 

Hinojosa said the sheriff's office doesn't ask for payments over the phone. No arrests have been made. 

100 block of North Locust Street — A 25-year-old man was given numerous chances to leave Hooligans bar Wednesday before he was arrested on a criminal trespassing charge. 

The police report did not specify why the man had been asked to leave the property. Police said the man refused to leave after he was "given chances," the report said. 

He was taken to Denton City Jail. 

1500 block of South Loop 288 — A 21-year-old man tried to walk out of Wal-Mart on Wednesday without paying for two video games and two packs of lighters, which were concealed in his pants, according to a police report. 

He was later arrested on a charge of theft under $100 with previous convictions and an outstanding Denton police warrant for theft. He also had an outstanding Denton County warrant for a motion to revoke probation for a previous vehicle burglary. 


From 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday:

The Denton County Sheriff's Office handled 974 service and officer-initiated calls for the agencies it serves, and 31 people were booked into Denton County Jail.

Denton police handled 161 calls for service and made six arrests.

Denton firefighters handled 25 medical calls, two vehicles crashes and one call for public service.