Sunday afternoon's fire on downtown Madison Street seems to have been started by a cigarette butt, police said.
One of the residents of 72 Madison St. — the building where the fire originated — told police that he had been smoking a cigarette on the balcony. The wind blew off the bud from the balcony. Moments later, the 26-year-old told police, smoke started coming from the area where his cigarette had fallen.
The fire broke out around 2:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, heavily damaging two buildings and minor damage to one more.
The six surrounding buildings were also evacuated, but residents were allowed back in after the fire was knocked out.
In total, 72 Madison St. had five tenants, spread out over two apartments.
The building's basement apartment had been destroyed after Hurricane Sandy, according to one nearby resident. The building next door, 74 Madison St., was vacant and ready to be demolished, according to that same resident, who preferred to remain anonymous.
Several animals were saved from 74 Madison St., police said.