Ohio officials say blaze that killed 2 boys was an accident


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a fire at a central Ohio apartment complex that killed two young boys earlier this year was apparently set by one of them who was playing with a lighter.

According to a statement issued by the Columbus fire department on Friday, the boys’ mother told officials that she had repeatedly caught the 5-year-old special-needs boy playing with a lighter in the past and that he had tried to ignite a coloring book the day before the Jan. 21 blaze.

The boy and his 4-year-old brother were killed in the fire in the family’s basement apartment. Their mother and an 11-month-old sibling escaped.

A Columbus fire department spokesman says the city has a program designed to help parents whose children are fascinated by fire.