Augusta Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office says Monday’s fire at an Augusta apartment house on Mt. Vernon Ave was caused by a five year old playing with either matches or a lighter. 

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The fire started in the first floor apartment and quickly spread to the rest of the building, leaving six homeless. No one was injured, said officials.

The devastating fire on Monday at 3 PM has been determined to be the result of a 5 year old child engaging in activity involving an open flame device such as a match or lighter, the exact implement is not known, officials said.

The structure has been deemed a complete loss to the building and its contents, the three families have been displaced and assistance has been provided to those families by the Red Cross. Steps are also under way to demolish the structure as the building sits adjacent to the road. The Augusta Fire Department reminds parents of the importance of proper care of lighters and matches by keeping them out of reach of children to stop such tragic events.

The fire department will assist in counseling services  to the family to help the child through this event and provide education on fire safety.