Boy playing with lighter sets house on fire

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- A boy playing with a lighter is believed to be responsible for a house fire Tuesday morning in south Wichita.

It happened shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of West 55th Street South. When Sedgwick County firefighters arrived on scene, they found heavy smoke pouring from the home.

They called for additional units from Wichita and McConnell to assist with fighting the fire. The home's owner, Robert Tafoya, had just left home when he was called back.

"From what I gather, I think my 4-year-old kid was playing with a lighter that he found. Kids are resilient. They'll find anything. Doesn't matter where you try to put things. My kids climb on top of the fridge and get things. Kids will be kids."

The fire chief says the fire started in the basement, causing significant smoke and heat damage throughout the home. Just as crews were putting houses away, the fire rekindled under the false roof of the home.

Tafoya says he and his son actually built the house together and he had hoped it would last many years. He says he had a rough year last year and let his homeowner's insurance policy lapse.

No one was hurt in the fire. The Red Cross is now helping Tafoya and his family.

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