Child lights house on fire, officials say

Sunday, February 20, 2011 | 5:55 p.m. CST
A Columbia firefighter hoses down charred clothing thrown out of the window by firefighters as they check for smoldering embers in the bedroom of a house fire at 2600 Sunflower St. on Sunday. Damage to the home was estimated at $25,000.

COLUMBIA — A child playing with matches started a house fire Sunday in northwest Columbia, fire officials say.

Investigators from the Columbia Fire Department determined the fire at 2600 Sunflower St. was caused by a child playing with matches inside the closet of the upstairs bedroom, according to a department news release.

No one was injured, but the fire caused an estimated $25,000 in damages. Vicky Miserez owns the property, according to the release. 

The Columbia Fire Department received a call at 3:07 p.m., Fire Department Captain Eric Hartman said. 

Hartman said Reginald and Chastity Jeff and two children, a 20-month-old infant and an 8-year old girl, live in the home. Reginald was not home at the time of the fire, according to the release.

Mary Cravins, Chastity Jeff's mother, was in the house during the fire and said her granddaughter alerted her to the fire. 

"I was in my bedroom, and my granddaughter was in the bathroom. When she left, she went to her room, and I heard her yell 'fire,'" Cravins said.

"I came in, told her to get out, and the closet was just full of flames," Cravins said. "We ran out." 

The fire was controlled by 3:25 p.m. and the majority of the damage was to the upstairs bedroom, Hartman said.


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