That unfortunate fire we told you about yesterday that scorched three buildings on Masonic between Waller and Frederick on New Year's Day has been ruled an accident by fire department investigators. The blaze started at 1357-1359 Masonic Ave., a three-unit building, just after 8 p.m. Sunday and spread to two neighboring buildings, causing approximately $1.3 million in damage and displacing nine people.

The fire took 111 firefighters and 50 minutes to extinguish. Investigators believe it started in a lightwell in the back of a narrow pathway between the two homes. The exact cause of the blaze has still not been determined.