A fire that damaged an apartment house on Binghamton's North Side leaving eight people homeless has been ruled accidental.

City fire investigators say Sunday night's blaze at 42 Bevier Street was caused by a child playing with a candle.

Investigators determined the fire started in a second-floor hallway when some clothing was accidentally ignited.

The child was found hiding, apparently afraid after the fire started. The child and three others weren't hurt but their mother sustained minor burns. She was treated at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City.

A mother and two children who lived in the other apartment in the building also were left homeless as a result of the fire.

A fire investigator says although there were multiple smoke detectors in the building, none sounded because batteries were either dead or removed.