TURNERS FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – A fire that damaged a two-family Turners Falls home Sunday afternoon was caused by kids playing with a lighter.
According to the State Department of Fire Services, at around 2:45 p.m. firefighters were called to a fire on Park Street. When crews arrived, the fire was in the rear and right side of the second floor and spread to the vacant third floor. Six people and two pets were able to escape the home.
After the investigation by Turners Falls Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit, it was determined two children, ages 3 and 6, were misusing a lighter and a candle in a bedroom in the rear of the home. The children told their parents of the fire and they were able to get out of the home with minor burn injuries.
“Fortunately, everyone made it out of the building safely,” said Chief Zellmann. “But this fire demonstrated that the flame from one lighter can quickly grow to a serious fire involving two floors of a residence. Keep matches and lighters out of curious kids’ reach, and start fire education early by showing them that even adults have to be very careful with fire.”
“Massachusetts has gone more than two years without a child fatality in a fire, and that’s due in part to early fire education,” said Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “Teach kids to tell a grown-up when they see matches or lighters, praise them when they do, and keep these items in a safe place that’s out of their reach.”
Officials are reminding residents, Northwestern Youth Fire Intervention Response, Education, and Safety
Partnership (NoFIRES) provides intervention, education, and prevention services to youth 18 and under who set fires or engage in fire-related behavior at no cost in Hampshire County, Franklin County, the North Quabbin area, and the City of Holyoke.
Turners Falls Deputy Chief Brian McCarthy told 22News, roughly 10 departments responded and they were able to put the fire out in about an hour.