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Two families get hard fire safety lessons

Clara Worsham stands in her granddaughter’s charred bedroom, her home since 1968. The 5-year-old accidentally started the blaze.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

Clara Worsham stands in her granddaughter’s charred bedroom, her home since 1968. The 5-year-old accidentally started the blaze.

ST. PETERSBURG — Two recent fires resulted in no injuries but plenty of "teachable moments," according to St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

One lesson came from the Sunday night fire that displaced a couple, their 5-year-old girl and the child's grandmother: make sure kids don't play with fire.

This fire was started by the girl playing with a lighter, officials said.

Firefighters put out the blaze, which started in a bedroom at 721 44th Ave. N, shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $2,000 and said the child will be referred to the Pinellas County Juvenile Fire Stopper Program, which teaches families about fire prevention and safety. The home did not have a working smoke detector, officials said.

The family is receiving housing and clothing assistance from the American Red Cross of Tampa Bay.

The second fire was reported at 2:40 p.m. Monday at 2449 Lynn Lake Circle. S, where a stove fire spread to the cabinets above.

Firefighters quickly put it out, then learned that an adult had left the hot stove unattended.

There was a fire extinguisher in the house but the two adults inside didn't know how to work it. As they tried to figure it out, neither of them immediately called 911.

Damage was estimated at $500. The smoke alarm in the home also wasn't working properly, according to firefighters, who gave the occupants a new battery-operated alarm.

"We're even providing training fire extinguisher training for them," said Lt. Joel Granata.

Times staff writers Luis Perez and Rita Farlow contributed to this report.

Two families get hard fire safety lessons 12/09/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 12, 2008 1:25pm]
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