Fire Chief: Apartment Fire Caused By Boy With Lighter

By: Chris Jones
By: Chris Jones

Washington fire fighters were called out twice overnight to an apartment fire at 114 Sparrow Drive.

The first call was sometime after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Fire Chief Robbie Rose says a young boy was playing with a lighter on a mattress. The fire quickly spread throughout the upstairs bedroom.

Coley Moore with the Washington Housing Authority says the boy is 4 or 5-years-old.

Chief Rose says there may have been some hesitation in calling 911 because "the fire was burning pretty substantially" when the call came in. Moore says the tenant may have been trying to put the fire out herself before it got out of control.

Crews arrived and thought they had the fire out completely, but Chief Moore says a strong wind gust may have rekindled it early Wednesday morning. This time the fire had spread through the roof and damaged the apartment next door.

Chief Rose says everyone made it out of both units safely, although the young boy received minor burns.

Moore says the Housing Authority has put the families up in a motel for the night and is contacting the Red Cross for further assistance.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Knowing Location: Pink Hill on Dec 29, 2011 at 08:19 PM
    I know a five year old who set the upstairs of their apartment on fire by playing with a grill lighter. This family also lived in section 8 housing, and ended having to relocate due to the extent of the smoke damage. Luckily, the neighbors were made aware in time to get out of their apartments and the fire department was able to interviene before it spread. This was not shrugged off by the housing authority; In fact, the family ended up paying for the repair expenses in addition to their monthly rental fee. It was around $500/month for a new apartment in a more crime saturated neighborhood that only individuals receiving section 8 were authorized to live.
  • by post my comment** Location: Greenville/Washington on Dec 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM
    Y'all be leaving** God sees no color**
  • by post my comment Location: Greenville/Washington on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:51 AM
    I see Witn didn't post my last comment...I see Pete have all the answers but did you know "your people" (white people) live in the "projects" too..Or did you think it was just "black,uneducated people" Did you know its a lot of "white people" that gets "foodstamps & Wic vouchers" I used to work part time at a Foodlion in Winterville & overall it was more white people swiping foodstamps cards & wic vouchers...but they came in looking like they just left a office job..I guess they know how to get over..stop judging and come together and help theses people that lost their things in the fire and stop pointing fingers,like I just did but I'm trying to prove a point. I guess if this happen in Smallwood,y'all would be living your name and number to help out... Remember God sees to color,so count your blesssing before you wake up in the same situation...
  • by Frank Sinatra Location: Heaven on Dec 28, 2011 at 06:18 PM
    Instead of attacking this should be a learning tool. Speak to your kids about not playing with fire, drive them by the property and show them what might happen. Have a designated meet up spot so you know everyone is out safely. And thanks to the Washington Fire Department and Police Department for all your hard work.
  • by Safety Location: Washington on Dec 28, 2011 at 04:57 PM
    This was very unfortunate and I wish the best for all those involved. A mother, single or not, can not be on top of a child 24/7 and monitor every single action. Most children are curious about fire and, most times, fire safety is not taught until the child is old enough for school. I do question why the fire was not put out completely the first time. Obviously some trace of the fire remained if a wind gust rekindled it. That seems like a slight oversight on the part of the fire department.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 04:51 PM
    How is a 4-5 year old able to light a lighter? Those things are supposed to be child proof, guess not.
  • by john Location: farmville on Dec 28, 2011 at 04:38 PM
    i am sure the parent will be able to pay for damages
  • by nachosBiz Location: Washington on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    If u put UR child to bed and walk down stairs to get a cup of water or juice for da child then next thing u no UR house is on fire r u consider as a bad parent then. I'm like things happens and yes u can't watch a child 24/7 and the things they find and hide from u that u wouldn't no they have till u catch them with it so who to say being a single mother of 1 or 10 kids is ez its not and anybody that have kids no they like to get into everything and some things they get into u didn't teach them they could of learn them from other kids or older kids u never no what that child is exposed to these
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM in reply to nachosBiz
      Could we get a translation into English, please?
    • reply
      by Thanks on Dec 28, 2011 at 04:58 PM in reply to nachosBiz
      I am glad you were able to put your "Parent of the Year" award down long enough to tickle the keyboard with such an enlightening piece of advice. I have wondered how I have survived this many years without your vast knowledge of all things parental. It's almost as if Supernanny and Flavor Flav melted into one being.
      • reply
        by That Was Funny! on Dec 28, 2011 at 06:24 PM in reply to Thanks
        Flavor Flav has 8 children (7 of which he lost custody of) and spent up most of his money on crack/cocaine ($2600 per day). A great father figure and role model for all the young black men out there.
  • by nachosBiz Location: Washington on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:51 AM
    If u put UR child to bed and walk down stairs to get a cup of water or juice for da child then next thing u no UR house is on fire r u consider as a bad parent then. I'm like things happens and yes u can't watch a child 24/7 and the things they find and hide from u that u wouldn't no they have till u catch them with it so who to say being a single mother of 1 or 10 kids is ez its not and anybody that have kids no they like to get into everything and some things they get into u didn't teach them they could of learn them from other kids or older kids u never no what that child is exposed to these
  • by Sister Location: Washington on Dec 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM
    Thanks to everyone with concern. Yes we are going through a tragedy at this moment. And for all you ignorant people that want to post stupid comments, you need to stop because if it was you or your family you wouldn't want anyone talking down on you or your family saying that you are irresponsible or that you need better parenting skills. So if you don't have anything nice to say keep it to yourself
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