GASTONIA, N.C. -- Officials say combustible materials very near a water heater sparked an apartment fire Sunday morning in Gastonia.

Crews extinguished the fire on Duhart Avenue in just 15 minutes.

Three people were transported to Gaston Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation.

There's an estimated $20,000 in damages from the fire to the apartment and its contents.

The Gastonia Fire Department would like to remind the public as the cooler weather approaches, be sure to keep at least 3' of space around around heat sources.

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