3-Year-Old Starts Apartment Fire with Lighter

POSTED: Friday, April 17, 2009 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:23pm

A Family of Six Lost Everything They Own

Firefighters say Wednesday afternoon's fire that gutted a Northeast El Paso apartment was started by a 3-year-old playing with a lighter.

Damage is estimated at $25,000 and the Red Cross is providing the family with a place to stay until they can move into a new apartment in the complex.

Safety Tips:

Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, up high, preferably in a locked cabinet.
Never use lighters or matches as a source of amusement for children. They may imitate what you do.
If your child expresses curiosity about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults only.
Use only lighters designed with child-resistant features, and store up high in a locked cabinet.
Teach young children to tell an adult if they see matches or lighters, and teach school-age children to bring any matches or lighters to an adult.
Never leave matches or lighters in a bedroom or any place where children may go without supervision.
If you suspect your child is intentionally setting fires or unduly fascinated with fire, get help immediately. Call your local fire department.

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