HAVERHILL — Three people were displaced Sunday by a fire that caused thousands of dollars in damage to their apartment building at 29 School St.

A tenant who lives on the second floor of the two-family apartment building called the Haverhill Fire Department after smelling smoke about 1:30 p.m., according to Fire Chief William Laliberty.

Laliberty said although the fire is still under investigation, the preliminary cause is believed to be a malfunctioning ceiling fan in a first-floor bathroom.

“A lot of times, the residents who live in these buildings are unaware or do not recognize a problem development, let’s say, a ceiling fan, or noise of a motor that could lead to a fire,” Laliberty explained.

The Fire Department extinguished the fire along with firefighters from Methuen, Lawrence, Groveland and Salem, New Hampshire. It took about 20 minutes to put out the fire, which Laliberty said caused $60,000 to $80,000 in damage to the building.

No one was injured. The American Red Cross is assisting those displaced by the fire. 

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