Fire set by child playing with lighter

Time: 2014-05-15    Writer: TAJ

A child playing with a lighter at Wednesday night(2014,4,23) accidentally started a fire in a Burlington house, displacing the residents who lived there.

According to the Burlington Fire Department, around 9 p.m., a young child ignited a mattress while using the lighter in a bedroom at 2589 Hyde Street. The child鈥檚 grandfather removed the burning mattress from the house through a door, but the fire had extended to other areas of the bedroom.


The man sustained minor burns to his hand as we was removing the mattress, said Chief Deputy Michael Willets, though he was later treated by Alamance County EMS at the scene and was not transported to a hospital.


Willets said the fire department doesn鈥檛 recommend that people attempt to remove or extinguish burning items, such as a mattress, but instead call 911 and close the door to the room that鈥檚 on fire.


The three occupants that were in the house all were able to exit the residence, and it took 11 Burlington firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. Willets said most of it was contained to the bedroom where it started.


Damage to the structure of the house was estimated to be $25,000, with another $12,000 in damage to its contents. Willets said the house is currently uninhabitable, and the American Red Cross was providing assistance to the family.


The only way to prevent this type of event is for parents and caregivers to keep lighters away from young children,鈥 Willets said. 鈥淢any of them are curious, and it鈥檚 really interesting to them that they can make fire.鈥

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