Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 3:08pm
A fire caused $25,000 damage at an eastside apartment building late Sunday afternoon. Smoke and fire damage was contained to a third floor apartment while water caused minor damage to an apartment below the fire. The Badger Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting a family of five who were displaced by the fire.
Firefighters were called to 2322 Independence Lane at 4:39 PM and arrived four minutes later. The fire was located and quickly extinguished with a single hoseline. Occupants of the 36 unit building were evacuating as firefighters arrived. No injuries were reported at the fire scene.
The fire investigator assigned to this incident determined that the fire started as the result of a four year old boy playing with matches in the bedroom.
Children playing with fire cause hundreds of deaths and injuries each year in the United States. Preschoolers and kindergartners are most likely to start these fires, typically by playing with matches and lighters, and are most likely to die in them. Firefighters offer the following advice:
• 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 you.
• 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. Remember child-resistant does not mean child proof.
• Teach young children and school-age children to tell an adult if they see matches or lighters.
• 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. Contact the Madison Fire Department at 266-4709 if you have questions or concerns about a child playing with fire.
- Eric Dahl, 608-279-7148