Winnipeg police believe careless smoking is to blame for an apartment-building fire that did $200,000 damage.

The blaze broke out around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a large apartment block in the 800 block of Main Street and forced police to block off Main Street at Higgins Avenue.

Officials said the fire started in a suite on the fifth floor of the building, and heavy smoke made it difficult to fight the blaze.

A 77-year-old man was rushed to hospital in unstable condition. He has since been upgraded to stable, police said.