The fire, which displaced 18 residents, started on a second-floor exterior balcony. From there, the fire reached the mansard-style sloped roof, spreading up to the attic and across the entire building.
The cause was determined to be unintentional. Fire Officials are reminding people to discard smoking materials in proper receptacles.
Roanoke County Fire & Rescue crews responded to the fire at 6 p.m. and found flames coming from a three-story apartment building. Volunteer and Career firefighters from the Cave Spring, Back Creek, Clearbrook, Vinton and Salem stations battled the blaze for several hours before calling it under control. Crews remained on scene throughout the night to douse hot spots.
While firefighters were monitoring the apartments overnight for flare ups, a cat was found sleeping under a pillow on a bed. Sometime this morning, another cat was found in one of the apartments. There are still several cats unaccounted for.
Damage totals are not yet available.