Fire damages empty downtown apartment building

06/06/2014 8:12 AM

06/06/2014 8:12 AM

Fire damaged an empty apartment building in downtown Wichita early Friday morning, authorities said.

The fire was reported just before 5 a.m. at Market and Lewis, a Sedgwick County dispatcher said. Witnesses told fire crews who arrived at the 84-year-old apartment building at 507 S. Market that a homeless man had been frequenting the unlocked structure, Wichita fire investigator Donnie Eckerman said.

That person likely started the fire accidentally, Eckerman said, with perhaps a candle or cigarettes. The fire caused just $500 to the interior of the old brick building, he said.

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