Dropped Cigarette Blamed for Florida Fire

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. --

Firefighters said one man's mistake led to an apartment fire in Orlando. One unit actually caught fire at the Maxwell Terrace apartments on Arlington Street, but several others were evacuated.

Fire officials said that the man who lived in the apartment admitted to starting a small fire earlier in the evening when he dropped a lit cigarette into a pile of clothes. He thought he had put the fire out and went to bed.

He later woke up to find that the fire had sparked again. He did not want to comment on how the fire started. Several neighbors, however, did describe their experiences. Some said they were already awake when the fire started and jumped in to help, knocking on doors to help get others out and calling 911.

One neighbor admitted to opening the door to try and put the fire out and may have given it to oxygen it needed to spread throughout the room. One neighbor said she didn't notice the fire until she heard firefighters breaking windows and rushed to the aid of a neighbor and his three kittens.

Surrounding apartments did suffer some smoke damage, but did not catch fire. Everyone did make it out of the building and firefighters cleared the scene early Friday morning.


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