A fire that tore through an apartment building Thursday was caused by a child playing with a lighter, according to the Richland County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Fire marshals determined the fire started in a bedroom of an upstairs unit at The Views on Longreek on Longcreek Drive, near Interstate 20 and the Broad River.
Columbia Fire Department, with the assistance of Irmo Fire District, responded to the fire that affected 12 units at the complex.
The Red Cross and apartment management is providing help to the 30 residents displaced by the fire, according to Columbia Fire Department.
No serious injuries were reported from the fire.
Firefighters were able to rescue a cat and reunite it with its owner.
A dog was not so lucky, which was in a lower level apartment and succumbed to injuries shortly after being rescued, the fire marshals office reported.
This is the second fire at the apartment complex in about a month. The cause of an April 16 fire at The Views on Longcreek was ruled undetermined, according to the fire marshals office.
Parents are urged to keep matches and lighters in a safe location and out of sight and reach of small children.
“Parents should also explain to children the consequences of playing with the items,” the release stated.