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Cambridge fire sends officers, residents to hospital

Four police officers and several residents of a housing complex for the elderly and disabled in East Cambridge were hospitalized this morning for smoke inhalation after a small fire broke out on a fifth-floor balcony of the building, authorities said.

The officers were treated and released from area hospitals, said Cambridge police spokesman Jeremy Warnick said.

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The conditions of the residents who were hospitalized could not be immediately confirmed. The building was temporarily evacuated, Warnick said.

Firefighters responded to the Millers River Apartments building at 15 Lambert St. around 7:45 a.m. and knocked the blaze down within 45 minutes, Cambridge Assistant Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The resident of the apartment attempted to extinguish the fire himself, but could not, Mahoney said.

“The fire grew enough in intensity that it shattered the glass in the sliding glass door,” he said.

Firefighters managed to contain the fire to the balcony and a small section of the apartment, Mahoney said.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.
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