FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne firefighters rescued a young boy from a house fire Sunday night after his mother had already escaped. Investigators have determined the boy started the fire by playing with a lighter.
Crews were called to a two-story home at 1328 McKee Street around 8 p.m. When they arrived, fire was coming from the second floor bedroom. There was a report that a child was still inside. Firefighters started to search for the child while also working to put out the fire.
Firefighters found the 4-year-old boy hiding inside an entertainment center cabinet on the first floor at 8:14 p.m. Both the child and his mother, LaQuita Walker, were taken to a hospital for minor smoke inhalation. Walker told officials she was upstairs when she heard the smoke alarm and saw smoke. She then left the house and called 911.
The fire was quickly put out and ruled under control at 8:15 p.m.
Crews said the outcome could have been much worse.
“A lot of times, when we see this type of situation, we have a dead child,” said Captain Dave Meadows of the Fort Wayne Fire Department.
Meadows is in the Safety Education Division.
According to him, between 30 and 50 kids responsible for starting fires go through his intervention program each year.
He said that’s why talking to your child is so important.
A working smoke alarm is your first line of defense, along with having a game plan.
“Make sure that they know the sound of their smoke alarms in their house and then what you do if there’s a fire and talk about different ways of getting out of the house,” said Meadows.
For more information on the intervention program, call (260) 427-1483.