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      Apartment fire displaces 15 residents

      Chief Mark Wright with the Columbia-Richland Fire Department discusses the fire damage with a Red Cross disaster worker outside of The Landings at Forest Acres.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Emergency services personnel responded to an apartment fire in Columbia Monday morning that displaced 15 people.

      Authorities say the fire occurred around 10:40 a.m. Monday in a second story apartment at The Landings at Forest Acres causing approximately $70,000 in damage.

      Eight adults and 7 children are displaced as a result of the fire, according to a spokesman with the Columbia-Richland Fire Department. Power was cut to the entire building, which has eight apartments.

      Officials believe the cause of the fire to be accidental due to a child playing with a cigarette lighter. The majority of fire damage was contained to one apartment, but some other apartments have smoke and water damage.

      According to the Red Cross, one unit was completely destroyed, and six other units were affected.

      Apartment management and the Red Cross are working with the displaced residents. The Red Cross provided each family with temporary lodging and hygiene kits. The children also received stuffed animals.

      â??I am glad that the Red Cross was here today and every day,â?? said Chief Mark Wright, Columbia-Richland Fire Department. â??Their work is very important to our community. They always provide comfort and aid to individuals that have lost everything to a disaster and help them get back on their feet.â??

      No injuries have been reported.