Burton home destroyed after 5 year old sparks fire with lighter

BURTON, SC (WTOC) - Three people, including two children, were able to escape a house fire in Burton Wednesday.

This fire was massive. Firefighters say it took just minutes for the blaze to take over the home, and that it was started by a 5 year old.

An entire house was destroyed, and a family is now homeless, all because a 5 year old had access to a lighter. Now firefighters are urging folks to make sure your children are educated on fire safety, or something like this could happen to you.

It didn't take long for a small fire- started by a child playing with a lighter - to turn into a complete disaster.

"I'm talking about smoke and everything. It's a good thing they got out, because I'm telling you, it's pretty bad, and for anyone to survive something like this 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning," said Terry Garvin, neighbor:

The fire was so hot, it caused damage to the homes on both sides.

"When I got out here, I noticed the house was in flames, and I looked at mine, it was melted," said Garvin.

One Burton Fire District official said it's sad to see this happen to a family, especially around the holidays, but it can serve as a reminder to parents with curious children.

"As parents and as mentors to these children, understand that children miss a lot of the meaning. Their life experiences isn't what we as adults is," said David Grabenbauer, Burton Fire District.

So when you're teaching children about fire safety, take a different approach that will help them understand the severity of playing with fire.

"There's no way he would have been playing with that lighter, if he had something to tie that message that his parents tried to tell him. Don't play with the lighter. Don't play with matches. Because he has no way of knowing what the outcome would have been," said Grabenbauer.

Firefighters say the home is a total loss. Right now the family is being assisted by the Red Cross.