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Boy playing with lighter blamed for house fire

CARPENTERSVILLE – A 4-year-old boy playing with a lighter started a fire that heavily damaged a house Thursday, the Carpentersville Fire Department said.

Firefighters were called to 269 Riverview Drive at 11:45 a.m. and found the 700-square-foot house engulfed in fire, flames coming out of the windows.

The occupants of the house, who were not identified, were across the street when firefighters arrived.

The boy and an adult female were treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns at the scene, the department said in a news release.

Chief John Schuldt said there was severe damage to the house and it is not habitable.

Whether it can be repaired has yet to be determined.

The boy was playing with a lighter and ignited a mattress, Schuldt said. Occupants of the house tried to put out the fire themselves and did not immediately call it in, he said,

“We believe the amount of fire damage was due in part to the occupants [trying] to remove the burning mattress and [fighting] the fire prior to notifying us,” Schuldt said.

The occupants planned to stay in a hotel Thursday night and then stay with relatives, Schuldt said.

The boy will be referred to fire safety education, he said.

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