GASTONIA, N.C. -- Food left cooking unattended on a stove is to blame in a Sunday morning house fire in Gastonia, according to the fire department.

The Gastonia Fire Department responded to the 1800 block of Mountainbrook Drive in Gastonia for a reported fire in an apartment in the 8 a.m. hour Sunday.

Crews entered the unit of the single-story apartment set and say the blaze that started in the kitchen had spread to the walls, attic, and porch of other dwellings.

The fire was contained in about 10 minutes, but not before damaging three other units. The unit where the fire originated was completely destroyed, while the other three sustained smoke and water damage.

The Red Cross is assisting the families that were displaced as a result of the fire.

The Gastonia Fire Department says the fire started by food left unattended while cooking on a stove.

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