Fire Department said child playing with lighter caused house fire

Friday, October 24, 2008 | 6:44 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia Fire Department officials responded to a small house fire at 12:07 p.m. Friday at 102 Redwood Road.

Investigators determined that a 4-year-old child started the fire by playing with a lighter he found in the home's front bedroom, according to a news release.

The child was in the care of Jermaine Wilson and Maria Aviles. All three occupants evacuated the house and called 9-1-1. No injuries were reported.

The damage to the home, which is owned by Bernard King, has been estimated at $2,000.

Fire crews contained the fire to the front bedroom and only minor smoke damage was sustained throughout the house, according to the release.

Fire crews found the home's smoke detectors disabled at the time of the fire.

The Fire Department reports that children playing with fire cause nearly 80,000 fires per year with about 760 deaths and 3,500 injuries.

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Ray Shapiro October 24, 2008 | 8:08 p.m.

Just another example why 4 year olds should give up smoking!
Kudos to the non-attending parents and the diligent care of Jermaine Wilson and Maria Aviles!
Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt, but $2,000 sure could have purchased some quality preschool-care...

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