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Six people left homeless after child starts house fire with lighter

Created: 02/16/2014 7:10 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

A house fire forced two families out of their homes Sunday night.

Investigators say it all started because of a young child playing with a lighter. Fire investigators say it's something that shouldn't have to happen.

The latest figures show nationwide, close to 45,000 fires were started by children playing with fire.

The fire Sunday happened on Ardmore Street in the city. A total of six people are homeless.

The Rochester Fire Department says there is so much heat, fire and smoke damage on the second floor, the families who lived there will not be able to go back in. News10NBC is told there is also significant water damage on the first floor.

Firefighters arrived to the scene around 2 p.m. to find flames shooting out of the back of the second floor of the house. They say a 5-year-old playing with a lighter started the fire in a bedroom. Fortunately, a sibling saw this and alerted their mother.

News10NBC is told three adults were with those children on the second floor of the home on Ardmore Street, and they were all home. This is just off Chili Avenue.

Fire fighters say when they arrived the smoke detectors were going off all over the building, and everyone was out of the house. They say it took no time to knock the fire down, but the fire moved swiftly.

Battalion Chief Chuck Stadler says this fire did a lot of damage, but was completely preventable.

 “Here we have a very young child, a 5-year-old playing with a lighter. Here again we can teach them fire safety, but ultimately it has to be the adult who keeps lighters and matches out of reach of children. You just have to keep those fire starting tools away from children,” said Battalion Chief Stadler.

The Red Cross is helping the two families with housing and other basic needs Sunday night.

The Rochester Fire Department recommends that all fire starters, like matches and lighters, be kept out of reach and out of sight of children, and never in an area where children play. The department also recommends that parents talk with their children about the dangers of fire and model good behavior themselves.
 



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