Sunday night fire in Walla Walla injures child

A child playing with a lighter is believed to have started a fire that injured another child in an apartment on Maple Street.

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WALLA WALLA -- A child playing with a lighter is believed to have started a fire Sunday night that injured another child and caused significant damage to an apartment unit.

Walla Walla firefighters, assisted by College Place Fire and Walla Walla County Fire District 4, extinguished the fire at 450 W. Maple St., Apt. G. Crews arrived by 11:40 p.m. and had contained the fire by 11:56 p.m., according to a news release.

Walla Walla Deputy Chief Brad Morris said four children, ages 18 months to 10 years old, were home alone when the fire started. He did not specify which child started the fire.

The adult tenant of the apartment, Kyla Swenson, was not at home at the time of the fire, Morris said. The apartment complex is owned by the Walla Walla Housing Authority.

The children were alerted to the fire by smoke detectors, and a neighbor, Arcadio Moreno, helped three of the children get to safety. According to the release, Moreno was unable to get to one of the children because of smoke and flames. Firefighters rescued the child from one of the apartment bedrooms, and the child was taken to Walla Walla General Hospital for treatment. No further information on the child or condition was available.

Moreno was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for evaluation.

The apartment is on the second floor of the complex, and damage to the unit was estimated at $30,000.

The Fire Department reported one of the children ignited the fire while playing with a lighter in the upstairs hallway. The department advises residents to always ensure the presence of properly installed and operating smoke detectors.

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