6-year-old playing with lighter starts fire, displaces 13

Child starts fire on south side (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thirteen Indianapolis residents were without a home Sunday night after a fire at a duplex residence on the south side.

Officials say the fire started when the 6-year-old son of the couple renting the lower level of the home was playing with a lighter and accidentally ignited his bunk bed.

Crews from the Indianapolis Fire Department were dispatched at 3:27 p.m. to a residence in the 1300 block of Lexington Avenue. Everyone in the home had already evacuated when IFD arrived, and they were able to get the fire under control in 10 minutes.

Of the 13 residents, only seven were home when the fire broke out, and no injuries were reported.

Two dogs and one cat were uninjured and accounted for after the fire, but one cat living with the family on the lower level died in the fire.

The 6-year-old who started the fire has been referred to IFD’s Fire Stop, an educational program for juvenile fire setters. IFD reminds residents to keep lighters and matches out of reach of children.

IFD is currently working with the Red Cross to find shelter for the 13 people displaced from their home. Damages to the home are estimated at $70,000.