Curious child attempting to light fireworks inside home causes fire, police say

OCALA, Fla. — A curious child who attempted to light some fireworks inside a north-central Florida apartment sparked a fire that damaged four units on Saturday, authorities said.

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According to a Facebook post by Ocala Fire Rescue, firefighters were called to the Berkeley Pointe Apartments in Ocala at 11:09 a.m. EDT.

Firefighters observed that the two-story apartment building was filling with smoke and tenants were evacuating.

Three of the units that were affected were on the first floor, while a second-story unit was also damaged, fire officials said.

Crews were told that a dog was inside the unit that had caught fire. One crew entered the apartment and retrieved the animal safely, officials said.

Fire officials interviewing witnesses learned that one of the children in the apartment obtained a firework from a package that had been bought to use for Fourth of July celebrations and attempted to light it indoors.

The age of the child who lit the fireworks was unclear.

“Close supervision and fire education are critical in preventing curiosity from becoming a disaster,” Ocala Fire Rescue wrote on Facebook. The department reminded residents “to keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children, up high, and preferably in a locked cabinet.”

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