Tampa firefighters rescue wheelchair-bound resident after child allegedly sets house on fire

A young child playing with fire sparked a house fire Saturday morning, according to Tampa Fire Rescue. 

It happened shortly before 11 a.m. at the 8000 block of N. 18th St.

According to Tampa Fire Rescue, crews responding to a structure fire saw smoke and flames coming out of a single-story duplex. They rescued a wheelchair-bound resident from the home and rendered medical aid, but the person did not want to be taken to a hospital. 

Firefighters say no other people were inside the home and the fire was under control by 11:01 a.m.

No firefighters were injured and the American Red Cross was contacted to assist the displaced family. 

TFR says its fire investigator said fireplay by a young child sparked the blaze, but did not go into specific details. 

Firefighters say it is natural for children to be curious and ask questions about fire and advises parents to: 

  • Explain that fire moves very fast and can hurt as soon as it touches them 
  • Explain that matches in lighters are tools for adults only 
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children, up high, preferably in a locked cabinet. 
  • Closely supervise children and make sure they are kept away from other fire sources, including lit candles, cigarettes, bonfires, and stove

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