House fire started by child playing with lighter

The fire service were called to Livingston. Picture: Tony Marsh
The fire service were called to Livingston. Picture: Tony Marsh
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Fire crews rushed to a family home in Livingston last night after a mattress was set alight by a young child playing with a lighter.

The blaze, which started shortly after 8.35pm in the terraced house in Gowanbank’s first floor bedroom, saw four firefighters in breathing equipment use a high-pressure hose reel to extinguish the flames.

The team provided oxygen therapy to a woman and a girl who appeared to have sustained slight smoke inhalation and called an ambulance to the scene.

A man and boy had also been inside the property and all four casualties received precautionary check-ups from paramedics, but did not need to attend hospital.

Today fire chiefs issued a reminder to the public to make sure lighters and matches are always kept out of reach of children.

Station Manager Martyn Brandrick, the commanding officer at Livingston Fire Station, said: “Kids are often curious about objects like lighters without understanding the danger they pose.

“It’s important we all make sure matches, lighters and cigarettes are always kept well out of children’s reach and that we help them understand these items are dangerous, that they aren’t toys and should never be played with.

“Fire can spread incredibly quickly. Flames, smoke and fumes travel rapidly through a home and as well as threatening lives they also cause significant damage.

“Thankfully this incident has not resulted in tragedy but it’s obviously a scary experience for the family and we know that fire in the home, even where no-one is hurt, can leave a lasting impact.

“We all have cherished possessions that just couldn’t be replaced and the loss of these is just one of the ways in which house fires cause significant emotional trauma.”