Firefighters determined a 5-year-old playing with a lighter caused an apartment fire in central Fresno on Thursday that did significant damage to four units.
"The take-away for the public is, 'Parents, guardians, make sure that all lighting devices and matches/lighters are guarded and kept out of reach and access of juveniles,' " said Don MacAlpine, deputy fire marshal for the Fresno Fire Department. "Even a 5-year-old is capable of lighting a lighter ... Fortunately, no one was hurt."
The Red Cross helped 10 adults and four children who were displaced by the fire at 214 W. Dakota Ave. that caused an estimated $250,000 in damages, said Koby Johns, a Fresno Fire Department spokesman.
The fire started just after 4:30 p.m. in a bedroom of an end-unit of the single-story apartments and spread into a common attic space.
While no one was seriously injured, two cats were resuscitated thanks to firefighters who used special oxygen masks for animals.
Johns said one of the cats Thursday was struggling to breathe, and appeared to be dying before firefighters assisted it.
"People care a lot about their pets and when your stuff burns up, that sucks. It's a very bad day for you and it's just compounded when your pets die," Johns said. "So whenever we come across a pet (at a fire), sometimes they are beyond resuscitating, but a lot of times they appear to be dead and we give them oxygen and that will revive them."
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