Indianapolis Fire Department program strives to keep children away from fires

A house fire. (Photo Provided/Indianapolis Fire Department)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A burned-out home sits in the 1300 block of Lexington Avenue.

According to firefighters, a 6-year-old boy started the fire at the duplex.

Firefighters say the boy accidentally started the fire as he played with a lighter. Of the 13 residents that lived in the home, only seven were home at the time. Crews were able to get everyone out of the home, and bring the fire under control.

24-Hour News 8 has learned that Indianapolis Fire Department has a program called Fire Stop. The program offers mentoring for children that show an unusual interest in fire or fire setting.

The mentors will work with the children until they are comfortable that the child understands the dangers of playing with fire. The program averages about 20 children a year. Those in charge of the program only recall one child returning to Fire Stop for an offense.

Firefighters stressed that adults should put matches and lighters out of reach of children. One of the number one causes of children starting fires is accesses to matches.

“When you talk about juvenile fire-setting, it is the opportunity, the child has time on their hands, or they are unsupervised,” IFD Capt. Aleatha Henderson said.

Parents who have identified that their child has an unusual interest in fires are urged to call Fire Stop at 317-327-3473.