By Stan Bush

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Fire caused by a lit cigarette forced a family out of their home, and nearly caused catastrophic damage to an apartment complex in Lakewood.

West Metro Fire says fire found in between the walls of an apartment building at 9th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard grew when someone improperly disposed a cigarette.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Residents of the complex saw the flames and used a fire extinguisher, but couldn’t get to the source of the fire.

“I was getting nervous because it wouldn’t go out,” said Jay Barahas. “It was ghosting out of the wall. It was like lighter fluid was getting squirted on it. I’d come back and it was poof.”

Fire crews did not need to use much water on the fire, opting instead to tear into the walls to knock the fire down.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

No one was hurt and there was no structural damage.

West Metro Fire says their crews respond to a handful of fires caused by cigarettes every month.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

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