A smoldering, discarded cigarette ignited a fire on the outside of a southeast Lincoln apartment building that displaced the residents of four units Tuesday morning, a fire investigator said.

Shortly after 9 a.m. mulch set ablaze by the cigarette spread to the side of the two-story building at 7120 S. 91st St., which is just north of Nebraska 2 and south of Pine Lake Road, Investigator Rick Campos said. The building is part of the Springs at Heritage Lakes.

The fire burned through the siding and damaged the main electrical conduit to the four apartments, though utility crews needed to initially shut off power for 12 units, Campos said.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue crews responded quickly and extinguished the fire, which didn't extend to inside the apartments, he said.

Still, the residents of four units won't be able to move back in for a day or two, he said.

The fire caused an estimated $25,000 damage to the building. 

It's unclear whether the cigarette was disposed of in a container that tipped over from the wind or if it was thrown into the mulch, Campos said. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

Reporter

Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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