Corvallis Fire Department officials said the cause of a blaze that scorched an apartment complex Saturday morning remains under investigation.
"There are some things about the fire that are causing us not to rule out a suspicious cause," said Carla Pusateri, fire prevention officer.
The fire was reported at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. All of the residents of the eight-unit structure, in the 1600 block of Northwest Harrison Boulevard, escaped safely. However, two pet cats were found dead inside the building Saturday, Pusateri said.
The apartment complex has been declared a dangerous building and entry will be prohibited. Pusateri said some areas of the roof caved in. Residents gave a list of important items for the Fire Department to retrieve, however, and those included wallets, car keys, bicycles and even fish.
Ed Epley, the owner of the apartment complex, said he didn't know if the structure was a total loss.
Pusateri said she didn't think most of the building was salvageable. "Even in the apartments that weren't touched by fire, you have a lot of smoke and water damage," she said.
Brian Leeper of the American Red Cross said that about 15 people were displaced by the blaze. "We're making sure that everybody has access to food, clothing and shelter," said Leeper, the chief operating officer of the Oregon Pacific Chapter of the American Red Cross, which serves seven counties, including Benton County.
Leeper said help with medications and even with renting another apartment would be provided on a case-by-case basis.
Oregon State University has offered to house the displaced residents in dormitories for the next 12 days.
The residents' new homes might not be in a prime location close to campus, however.
"It's a bad time to find apartments," Epley said. With school set to start at the end of the month, many units already have been rented.
Two cats were rescued from the fire on Saturday morning. One was inside the burning building for two hours, and had burns on all four feet and problems caused by smoke inhalation.
Two cats still are missing, though one was discovered hiding under a bed in the wreckage of her owner's apartment. Officials have set a live trap out to catch that cat, which lived with the cat with the burned feet.