An exploding battery in a laptop computer sparked a two-alarm fire at an apartment complex Sunday in New Holland.

A neighbor noticed smoke and called 911 around 2:40 p.m.

Crews arrived at 53 Ashlea Gardens within four minutes of the dispatch time and quickly gained control of the blaze, according to Garden Spot Fire Rescue Chief Larry Martin.

Martin said the explosion set off three separate fires in the living room of the second-floor unit.

He said fire damage was confined to that room but that the entire apartment was heavily damaged by smoke.

Martin set the loss at $55,000.

He said there was no extension into neighboring units and that all residents were able to return to their homes.

Two young women who live in the affected apartment will be staying with relatives, according to the chief. They weren't home when the fire broke out.

Martin said firefighters rescued a cat from a bedroom. He said the animal inhaled some smoke, was treated at the scene and is OK.

About 100 firefighters from 10 area departments responded to the blaze.

Related story: What causes laptop batteries to explode?

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Jennifer Todd is a Lancaster Newspapers police reporter. She can be reached at or (717) 481-6136. You can also follow @JenniferLTodd on Twitter.