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Police: Child playing with lighter sparks fire, forces 150 from their homes

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. -- Two children had to be rescued from a fire that injured four people, including two firefighters, and forced 150 people from their homes at an apartment complex in Delaware County, CBS Philadelphia reports

The three-alarm fire broke out shortly before 8:30 a.m. Monday in the C-building of the Cliff Park apartment complex in Clifton Heights.

Police said it appeared as though the blaze erupted after a child lit a piece of paper on fire, panicked and threw the paper under the bed.

"We interviewed the family where the fire began in the apartment complex and came to find that a 5-year-old had been playing with a lighter," said Clifton Heights Police Chief Tim Rockenbach. "We believe that is going to be the cause of the fire."

The flames engulfed the third-floor apartment and two children had to be dropped from a window to safety. Authorities said they appeared to be unharmed, but were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Heavy flames also forced two women to jump from a third-floor window. They were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Two firefighters also sustained minor injuries. They have since been released from the hospital. 

At this time, The Red Cross is assisting 150 people who were displaced by the blaze.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

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