A candle left burning in an El Centro apartment Sunday caused a fire that damaged the inside of the apartment and left a family cat dead from smoke inhalation.
The fire erupted shortly after 11 p.m. in the studio apartment in the 700 block of El Centro Avenue.
The four people who were just moving into the apartment — parents and their two children — left the apartment for a time while a candle was still burning, according to El Centro Fire Department officials.
The apartment did not have utilities and the family was using the candle for light.
At some point after the family left the candle tipped over, causing the blaze to start.
Firefighters responded to the fire shortly after receiving the call and had the fire out within five minutes of their arrival.
However, the belongings the family had moved into the apartment were destroyed and the family cat was found dead as a result of smoke inhalation.