Monday, February 11, 2013 12:04 AM
Kids, lighter spark costly house fire
Wilson firefighters extinguish 3 fires
By Jon Jimison | Times Editor
Wilson Fire/Rescue Services officials issued a safety reminder following an incident Saturday where four children playing with a lighter and a gas can apparently sparked a large house fire on Starship Lane.
No injuries were reported, said Capt. Albert Alston of Wilson Fire/Rescue Services.
The children apparently lit a mattress on fire in the exterior utility room of a vacant duplex at 3802 Starship Lane.
Nearly 20 firefighters responded to the late afternoon fire. They found heavy, black smoke pouring from the home and fire showing from the rear of the building.
Children should not be playing with lighters or gas cans or around abandoned structures, Austin said. Any of the three can create a dangerous situation.
Damage from the flames extended throughout the utility room of the house as well as the back bedroom, according to fire reports. Smoke damage was apparent throughout the structure.
Wilson police also investigated the incident, identifying the four children who apparently started the fire.
The fire caused $20,000 in damage. Even though there are a number of Wilson Housing Authority homes in this area, this structure was not owned by the housing authority, officials said.
Saturday’s fire was one of three during a particularly busy weekend for Wilson firefighters.
A cooking-related fire sparked thousands of dollars in damage to a Wilson apartment late Friday night.
Wilson Fire/Rescue Services responded just after 9 p.m. Friday and put out the fire at 507-B Nash St.
Nineteen firefighters responded, finding black smoke and fire coming from the side of the apartment, Alston said.
Fire officials estimate structure damage at $75,000 and a further loss of contents at $7,500.
All three occupants were unhurt in the fire, Alston said.
Although the fire was cooking-related, it wasn’t unattended cooking.
Grease started a small fire that got larger, officials said.
The apartment is uninhabitable for now, but Austin said there was another apartment available for those residents.
A third fire this weekend sparked another request to the public.
If anyone sees activity around abandoned structures or homes, they are asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 399-2323.
That request comes after an abandoned home at 314 Vick St. caught fire Saturday morning at 6:30.
"It appears that someone was trying to stay warm and started a small fire and it got away from them,” Alston said.
Damage was estimated at $15,500. The entire home is worth $20,000, according to Wilson County property tax records.
Nineteen firefighters responded and found black smoke coming from two sides of the building.
The fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature.
Wilson fire officials said they are thankful there were no injuries from any of the fires this weekend.
©The Wilson Times, Wilson, North Carolina.
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