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June 6, 2014

Fire damages empty downtown apartment building

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

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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