A fire that heavily damaged one apartment and displaced a total of seven people was caused by a lit cigarette.

Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock said that a man in the residence was smoking and was going through bags of clothes in an upstairs room. The man later smelled smoke and heard a crackling noise and discovered a bag of clothes on fire.

The man tried to put out the fire himself at first, and the flames spread before he and the other resident fled.

The fire on the evening of Feb. 12 caused fire and heat damage to the second floor of that apartment and smoke and water damage to the first floor. Two adjacent apartments had minor smoke and water damage.

Whytock said the five tenants of the adjacent apartments were still unable to return to their residences as of Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14.

The apartment where the fire started is rented by a Mrs. Thorbjornson, Whytock said.

There were no injuries.

The fire was reported at about 6:30 p.m.