House fire started by 7-year-old

A family of four is displaced after a house fire Wednesday evening. The cause of the fire was a 7-year-old boy playing with a lighter on the porch.

Courtesy of Northwest Fire District

Northwest Fire District firefighters were called to a single wide mobile home fire just before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. On arrival, firefighters found an outside patio area on fire at the home on the 2500 block of Curtis Road.

The fire had broken through an exterior wall and burning inside the home as firefighters brought the blaze under control within eight minutes.

The fire caused moderate smoke damage throughout the house, minimal fire damage inside the home and extensive damage to the exterior patio area.

Fire investigators at the scene were interviewing the homeowner and her children when the 4-year-old sister informed investigators that her brother had used a lighter to start the fire. After speaking with the 7-year-old boy, he confirmed to investigators that he had retrieved a lighter from within the kitchen and was playing with the lighter outside when the fire started.

The mother was alerted to the fire after she began to smell smoke in the home. Investigators found two smoke detectors within the home but neither unit had batteries installed.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire. Damages were estimated to be approximately $2,000. The Family

( Father 47, Mother 43, and the 2 children) have been displaced by the fire due to smoke and electrical damage. The Northwest Fire Districts Community Assistance Program team members were on the scene to assist with shelter for the family.

The child will be referred to the Northwest Fire Districts Juvenile Fire Setters Program” for education and counseling. No criminal charges will be filed in this case. This program is an alternative to criminal charges and the court systems when children have started fires accidently.

The program has been a successful part of the Life Safety Services public education program for many years.

Northwest Fire reminds everyone that all open flame sources such as lighter and matches should be stored out of the reach of children at all times.

For information regarding the Juvenile Fire Setters program, contact the Northwest Fire District’s Life Safety Services at 887-1010.

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