NFPA Journal - May/June 2020 - 78

Firewatch
Fire crews obtained water supply
from a nearby hydrant and began extinguishing visible fire through the front
window. Additional crew members
then entered the residence and began a
primary search, which proved negative,
then finished extinguishment inside
the structure. A secondary search also
proved negative.
Investigators determined that the fire
started in a first-floor family room when
smoking materials that had been discarded in a wicker garbage can ignited a
fire, which then spread to a chair.
Fire department reports indicated
that the residence was not equipped
with smoke detectors.
The house was a single-story wood
structure with a ground floor area of
1,232 square feet (114 square meters).
Damage to the house, valued at
$225,000, was estimated at $125,000.
The fire caused an additional $40,000
in damage to the home's contents,
valued at $75,000.

MICHIGAN
Fatal fire caused by child playing
with cigarette lighter
One child died in a house fire that was
ignited when another child was playing
with a cigarette lighter.
The fire department was dispatched
to the residence after one of the home's
occupants called 911 at 7:30 p.m. after
being alerted to the fire by a smoke
detector. Reports from the residence
indicated that an infant was still inside
the structure and believed to be in a
rear bedroom.
Crews reported seeing a column of
black smoke as they made their way to
the scene. Upon arrival, both floors at
the rear of the two-story structure were
said to be heavily involved with fire.
A circuit around the perimeter of the
structure also found that the fire had
melted the siding on exposed homes on
each side of the structure.
Crews made entry through the front
door to begin fire attack and search

for the occupant at the rear of the residence. A second company conducted
a primary search of the front of the
house before moving to the second
floor, where they encountered heavy
smoke conditions and moderate heat.
Interior crews knocked down fire
in the rear bedroom and located the
missing child in a corner of the room
and determined that the child was
deceased. The room was soaked down
to prevent further flare-up, and the
room and the child's body were preserved for investigators.
After primary and secondary
searches confirmed that there were no
remaining occupants in the residence,
crews performed ventilation and overhaul activities.
Investigators determined that the
fire began when a second child set fire
to a toy while playing with a cigarette
lighter in a closet in the rear bedroom.
The house was equipped with one
smoke alarm in a common area near

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Modern vehicles present new hazards due to the incorporation of larger quantities of combustible materials into their designs.
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5/1/20 11:47 AM


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NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - May/June 2020

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