FD: Glendale apartment fire started by child with lighter

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale fire investigators say an apartment fire that displaced a family was started by a child playing with a lighter in a bedroom.

The child, two adults and their dog escaped the fire Wednesday morning at their apartment near 47th and Glendale avenues.

Although crews quickly extinguished the flames, the third-floor unit was determined to be uninhabitable. The fire department's crisis response team and the American Red Cross have been assisting the family with relocation.

The United States Fire Administration reports that between 2005 and 2009, fires started by children accounted for an average of 56,300 fires resulting in 110 deaths, 880 injuries and $286 million in property damage each year.

The Glendale Fire Department is reminding parents to teach their children about fire safety and keep matches and lighters out of reach.

Parents can also enroll their children in the department's Youth Firesetter Intervention Program. The free program is available to Valley children ages 3 to 17 and includes information about fire safety, fire science, burn injuries and the consequences of firesetting.