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A smoke-detector head at Central Housing has been repaired after failing to trigger a fire-alarm system during a minor blaze Monday morning, according to Jeff Simms of GMC Development, owner of the building at 314 N. Union St.

Simms said Tuesday that second- and third-floor residents of Central Housing's one-room furnished units were safely evacuated after someone smelled smoke.

City of Olean firefighters responded to a telephone call at about 4:46 a.m. to Room 18. Investigators have not yet named the cause of the fire, but Simms said a large amount of smoke came from a mattress that apparently ignited after someone in the room left a burning cigarette on it.

"It's the first fire we've had since we owned the building despite the number of opportunities for situations that could be hazardous," said Simms, who noted that most buildings on North Union, including Central Housing, were built around the turn of the century.

The former Central Hotel previously housed students of Jamestown Community College and Olean Business Institute before GMC converted the second- and third-story rooms to general residential units about three years ago. About 10 retail stores occupy the building's first floor, he said.

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