Man says young son playing with lighter sparked house fire


by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 1:04 PM

PHOENIX -- A family of five escaped from their burning home Wednesday night but lost nearly everything inside.

It occurred near 7th Avenue and Hatcher Road.

A couple and their two children, ages 2 and 7, escaped unharmed. The children's grandmother, who relies on a wheelchair, suffered smoke inhalation but is recovering.

The blaze apparently started in the front of the home, where the grandmother was staying.

Firefighters said some family members smoke and the grandmother is on oxygen, but they are not sure if either of those things sparked or fueled the fire.

The man said he believes his 7-year-old son accidentally lit the couch on fire while playing with a lighter.

The charred sofa was sitting on the front lawn of the home, along with other debris.

"We have to tear apart some of the walls and the ceilings, and some of the carpet and furniture," Phoenix Fire Capt. Tony Mure explained. "If anything's burnt up, just to keep the fire from reigniting ... we have to sometimes pull it out into the front yard or back yard just to soak it down completely."

The American Red Cross is providing the family with temporary shelter.