Sandusky firefighters were called to the apartment complex at East Washington and Warren streets at about 2:30 p.m.
A former tenant left papers on a stove and was in the process of moving, firefighters said. When utility crews turned the unit's electricity back on, it caught the papers on fire.
Firefighters knocked down the blaze in about 10 minutes. The kitchen in that unit was destroyed, and the fire caused about $10,000 in damage. The other apartment units in the building were not damaged.
No injuries were reported.