Fire departments from Fort Drum and Watertown quickly knocked down a fire at 139 Winslow St. on Tuesday evening. Ben Muir/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Winslow Street from Washington to Gotham streets was shut down for part of Tuesday evening because of a fire in the back of an apartment house.

While snow began to fall, at about 5:30 p.m., city and Fort Drum fire departments responded to 139 Winslow St. for reports of a structure fire. A person who lives in a first-floor apartment said he smelled smoke and dialed 911, adding that it took between three and four minutes for them to be on the scene.

City fire officials said flames were showing in a first-floor apartment, and the fire was knocked down rather quickly. City police were on scene too, assisting city fire.

The apartment home, which has six units, was evacuated upon city fire’s arrival. Four of the six units were able to be have occupants return after the fire Tuesday night, according to a release from the fire department, but apartment 5 sustained extensive fire damage. The damage was not confined to just that unit, the release said.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, but were not taken to the hospital.

City fire officials reported it was undetermined if anyone was even in the apartment at the time of the fire. It appears a language barrier between investigators and residents played a role.

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