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Child playing with matches cited as source of Tampa house fire

A three-year-old boy who was playing with matches set fire to a mattress and the blaze spread, doing $75,000 in damage to a Tampa house Monday afternoon.

Tampa Fire Rescue said around 4 p.m. firefighters were called to a single-story house at 3317 W Ivy Street. Crews had the fire under control within about 15 minutes, and there were no injuries. Investigators with the Tampa Fire Marshals Office determined that Maria Cruz, 31, had been in the house with her four children ages 1, 3, 8 and 13. She saw smoke coming from the rear bedroom and got the children out. Fire officials said the 3-year-old boy had been playing with matches and set the bed mattress on fire. They described the damage as moderate, but estimated the losses at at $75,000 or more.

The American Red Cross helped the family find temporary shelter.

Fire officials warned parents and caregivers to keep matches and lighters out of reach of young children.

Child playing with matches cited as source of Tampa house fire 01/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 11, 2010 8:06pm]
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