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House fire started by 5-year-old playing with matches, officials say

House fire started by 5-year-old playing with matches, officials say

(Mike DeBernardo/KSL-TV)

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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TAYLORSVILLE — Unified fire officials believe a house fire in Taylorsville was started by a 5-year-old who was playing with matches Tuesday evening.

Firefighters responded to the fire near 2700 West and Bennion Boulevard around 7:30 p.m., according to Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Brian Anderton. Firefighters entered the home because they initially thought two children remained inside, but the children were located safely outside, Anderton said.

Three adults in the house also made it safely outside, but they suffered from smoke inhalation. A pet dog remained unaccounted for Wednesday afternoon.

The family of six was displaced as a result of the fire and the Red Cross is assisting with the situation, Anderton said. The damage is estimated at $125,000.

After an investigation Tuesday evening, officials believed the fire began in a bedroom in the basement of the home. Wednesday, officials said they believed a child playing with matches caused the fire.

Utah State Fire officials have given a list of warning signs of a child experimenting with firesetting:

  • Burned items found in the home or where the youth frequents s
  • Spent matches found in places that cannot be explained
  • Missing matches or lighters or discovering that a child may be hoarding these items
  • Unexplained burns on hands or to hair
  • Increased interest in fire or fire-related items or activities

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