Apartment fire sparked by lighter mishap

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | 9:51 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A child playing with a lighter was deemed the cause of a fire Wednesday night that damaged several apartments in the 2300 block of Parker St., according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters arrived at the scene around 6 p.m. and had the blaze controlled in a matter of minutes. It was contained to one room, the release said.

Gladys Sanders and her grandson were in the apartment at the time of the fire. Sanders was alerted to the fire in the bedroom by the sounding of smoke alarms.

Upon entering the room, she saw her young grandson holding a lighter, the news release said. Investigators later found the lighter in the course of their investigation.

Several of the surrounding apartments suffered smoke and water damage.

The American Red Cross is assisting the residents of the apartment with temporary clothing, food and housing.

There are no current damage estimates for the apartment.

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