Saskatoon Deputy Fire Chief Gary Kobussen says investigators suspect the flames that tore through a city apartment Wednesday night and claimed the life a three-year-old girl were likely caused by children playing with fire.

"Certainly they believe that possibly could be the case – they need to just follow up and verify that," Kobussen says.

Investigators have ruled out electricity or smoking materials as a cause, leading them to suspect lighters or matches. They planed to speak to the girl's father and five-year-old brother who were also in the apartment when the fire started.

Thursday morning, the only signs of fire were scorch marks and broken glass in a main floor window in the building at 517 Avenue X South.

The fire broke out at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday. When fire crews arrived, they discovered heavy smoke and found a small girl inside a bedroom of one suite. The child was already suffering from cardiac arrest when she was handed over to paramedics. Ambulance workers rushed the pre-schooler to Royal University Hospital, but couldn't save her.

Residents had to be evacuated because of the heavy smoke -- but because of severe wind chills, they were kept warm in a city bus.