LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A resident has blamed an unattended space heater for a fire early Friday that damaged several units of the Alyson Circle apartments in the 1500 block of E. 10th Street in Jeffersonville. 

It happened just before 9 a.m. 

"Our fire department was notified of a structure fire at 8:49 a.m," said Sgt. Justin Ames with the Jeffersonville Fire Department. "Our crews responded immediately, they were on the scene in two minutes."

Ames said 20 firefighters responded, and it took about 15 minutes to get the fire under control. 

No one was inside the apartment when the fire started.

Daniel Eagan rushed home after hearing his home may be on fire, but it wasn't the damage he was worried about. 

"I have a cat, and if my cat was dead I don't know what I would do," Eagan said. "I really don't. Because she was a rescue and I love her dearly."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but one man who lives at the complex says he has a pretty good idea how it started.

"It was caused by space heaters that Pinnacle Properties, the owners, gave to us," said Ronald Dressler. 

"It was, like, 30 degrees in most of the apartment 90 percent of the time since the winter started," Dressler said. "And they've been putting off putting the furnace in."

Dressler says management gave his girlfriend two spacers heaters after she told them her furnace stopped working. His girlfriend leaves them on during the day to keep their two cats warm. 

One of those cats did not survive the fire. 

It's not our fault because they would not fix the furnace," Dressler said. "If we would have turned that thing off there would have been ice in the inside like there had been. Every time we turn the furnace off and wake up there's ice on the inside of the window, on the walls."

Residents are pointing their fingers at the property owner -- and the space heaters they were given.

"Pinnacle Properties -- the owners -- gave it to us in order to keep our apartments warm because we were all huddling in one room most of the time," said Ronald Dressler, a resident. "It was, like, 30 degrees in most of the apartment 90 percent of the time since the winter started. And they've been putting off putting the furnace in."

"My next door neighbor's house -- apartment -- caught on fire," said Daniel Eagan, another resident. "And I just ran out of the store. I didn't even clock out. I didn't even tell anybody. Because I have a cat. And if my cat was dead, I don't know what I would do."

Sgt. Ames had this advice for anyone using a space heater.

"You need to put it on a flat, level surface, three feet away from any materials that are combustible," Ames said. "You should also treat a space heater like a candle, never leave it unattended. If you leave the room, turn it off." 

The American Red Cross has offered clothing, food and shelter to the residents who were displaced by the fire.

Pinnacle Properties could not be reached for comment on this story.

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