FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Back in January, a fire ripped through the Pines of Perinton apartment complex, destroying 18 apartments and displacing 65 people. Now News 8 has the latest in the investigation from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Bureau.

The report does say the fire quickly spread through the ceiling and the void spaces between other apartments, but the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.

The report does state, though where investigators think the fire originated. 

According to the report, apartment number 20 was occupied by Mr. William O’Keefe. The report states O’Keefe was unable to be interviewed and is unwilling to answer questions. He is currently in the hospital. What the report can rule out at this point is the following: Natural or spontaneous heating has been eliminated as a cause.

But what cannot be ruled out as an origin of the fire are several things, including smoking. Investigators found several cigarette butts in the apartment ruins. Investigators also cannot rule out anything mechanical or electric — e.g., they don’t what was in the apartment, such as a space heater, or if there was an electrical wire issue.

They also cannot rule out “human involvement,” meaning if O’Keefe deliberately started the fire or not. The Sheriff’s Office and the Fire Bureau will be interviewing O’Keefe when he gets out of the hospital.

A spokesperson from the Pines of Perinton released the following statement Tuesday, saying:

“We appreciate the hard work of the investigators and first responders who helped extinguish and investigate the fire at the Pines. We are also grateful that all alarm systems worked properly and no one was hurt. Hundreds of citizens in the Perinton-Fairport area and local organizations, like the Red Cross, have shown immense generosity toward those who were displaced. We are pleased that all the families who wanted to return are back on their feet and back at the property. Our focus now is on delivering great service to all residents of the Pines.”

Ed Cafasso, Pines of Perinton

Read the full report: