Child Starts Fire That Damages Home

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WBBM) — A west suburban fire official says a tragic house fire yesterday points out why parents need to do everything they can to keep children from playing with fire.

St. Charles Assistant Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet says $150,000 in damage was done to a house and its contents on 11th Avenue yesterday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

He says the fire was started by a 6-year-old boy who was playing with a butane grill lighter in a garage.

Schelstreet says, statistically, the 5- and 6-year-old age group has a “higher incidents of fire setting than most fire-setting by children.”

He says that although butane lighters, like those used to light cigarettes and charcoal grills, are child-resistant, that does not mean they are childproof.

Schelstreet says parents whose kids have shown an interest or curiosity about fire can sign them up for juvenile fire-prevention programs sponsored by their fire departments. Those are programs designed to teach children about how dangerous fire really is.

In yesterday’s fire, no one was injured.

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