House fire started by child playing with lighter

A toddler playing with a lighter started a house fire late Monday afternoon on Slayton Street, according to Lt. Renee Freeman of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. Emergency crews responded to 1539 Slayton St. at 3:45 p.m. when a woman called 911 and said a bed was on fire. Andrea Young tried to extinguish the blaze, but quickly called 911 and evacuated the house - said her husband, Matt Young. Andrea and the child were the only ones home at the time. They were not hurt, authorities said.
Becky Vargo
Sep 20, 2011


“My 3-year-old found a lighter somewhere in the home,” Matt said. “He took it in his bedroom and was playing with it. He lit it and he came out and told her there was a fire in his room.”

Matt said he was at work just down the street when the fire trucks went by.

“I had a bad feeling and called home,” Matt said as he comforted his son in his arms.

Matt said he rushed home to find his wife and child safe outside.

The couple has two other children who were at school at the time.

Fire destroyed the bedroom and there was smoke damage throughout the small one-story house, Freeman said. There was also some water damage.

Fire was blazing out the bedroom windows when firefighters arrived minutes after the call.

Freeman said the fire was knocked down within 10 minutes. Firefighters remained on the scene until almost 6 p.m., making sure that all hot spots were out and the home was ventilated.

Damage was estimated at $80,000 for the house and $20,000 for the contents.

Freeman said the Youngs told her they were insured had family in the area to take care of them.

Grand Haven Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.


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