Three apartment units damaged in early-morning fire

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Residents from three apartment units were displaced after a fire broke out in a kitchen at Sabal Palms Apartments Saturday morning, said officials with the Charleston Fire Department.

Officials said the fire was contained to the kitchen area of one apartment but two other apartments had some smoke and water damage.

When firefighters arrived to the complex at 100 Lochaven Drive at about 12:30 a.m., officials said the fire sprinkler system had activated, which is why the fire was contained to one area.

"The fire sprinkler system is a critical component in the life safety system of this property," said Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh. "In this case, a single fire sprinkler head operated and controlled the fire event until the fire department could arrive and mitigate any remaining hazards."

"Without the fire sprinkler system we would have had a substantial event, damaged multiple apartments, and displaced numerous families," he added. "Instead management is working to repair minimal water, smoke and fire damage."

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.

Officials said they determined unattended cooking contributed to the cause of the fire.