Police: Kids with lighter started fire in city garage

A garage fire Thursday was started by children playing with a lighter, according to the Altoona fire inspector.

Two boys and a girl, all 8 to 10 years old, were in the upstairs loft of a 1 1/2-story, two-car garage behind 1606 20th Ave. when they set a mattress on fire while playing with a disposable lighter, Altoona Fire Inspector Tim Hughes said Friday.

Hughes noted the children were “very lucky” they weren’t injured in the blaze.

The fire, which started at about 1:30 p.m. and caused extensive damage to the interior of the garage, has been ruled accidental, Hughes said. Damage is estimated at $10,000, and the owner is insured, he added.