A 5-year-old boy playing with a candle set his family’s bathroom on fire Wednesday afternoon.
The boy put the candle in a plastic trash can in the bathroom of the home in the 700 block of West Calle Aragon near South 12th Avenue and West Valencia Road, and it quickly spread to the rest of the bathroom, Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said in a press release.
“The fire scared the boy who then went outside and hid in the corner of the yard,” Baker said. “The mother, who was cooking in the kitchen, smelled the smoke and discovered the fire in the back bathroom. Several adults tried extinguishing the flames with buckets of water when the neighbor across the street noticed the commotion. The neighbor entered into the house with a fire extinguisher to try and put out the fire. He stated the smoke was making it tough to breath and see as the smoke was about halfway down the walls.”
A 63-year-old man who was in the bathroom trying to extinguish the blaze had to be convinced to leave by the neighbor, Baker said. The man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but did not go to the hospital.
Firefighters were called just after 12:30 p.m. They found the fire had been extinguished and they used a thermal imaging camera to verified it had not spread into other areas of the home. The damage estimate had yet to be determined, Baker said.
“Children don’t know the dangers of playing with matches or lighters and a fire can overwhelm them quickly,” Baker said. “Grown ups can help by storing matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, up high, preferably in a locked cabinet or container.”