MICHIGAN CITY – The cause of a fire that apparently started with a pile of clothing and damaged the outside of an apartment building on the south side early Sunday remains under investigation.

The Michigan City Fire Department received a call just after 3:30 a.m. about a fire on the exterior of an apartment complex in the 600 block of Herring Gull Lane.

While en route to the call, firefighters were notified flames were showing on the rear of the building, and the apartment had been checked and no one was inside, according to an MCFD report.

Firefighters arrived and found clothes were on fire outside of the structure, and the heat from the fire was melting the siding on the building, the report said.

After using two hoses to extinguish the blaze, firefighters went inside the apartment, and used a fan to force smoke out of the unit.

The report also noted the "front door of the unit had been forced open prior to their entry."

Firefighters then checked the attic of the structure, and the entire exterior to make sure there were no more flames or smoke visible, then cleared the scene about 4:38 a.m.

The report said the pile of apparel was the first thing ignited, but the origin of the fire was not known. The incident remains under investigation.

No one was in the apartment at the time of the blaze, and no injuries were reported.

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