Police: 9-year-old causes apartment complex fire

Source: Gina Fanning
Source: Gina Fanning

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - The Summerville Police Department says a 9-year-old child caused an apartment complex to catch fire.

Police say the child was playing with fire when the flames broke out at the Boone West Apartments close to Boone Hill Road. It happened around 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.

Firefighters say some grass caught fire which then set the building on fire.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation. Authorities say the child will not be charged.

Summerville Medical Center ER Dr. Richard Preston Wendell says young children with access to matches or lighters could result in even worse injuries.

"They can range in severity. Everything from skin injuries from matches, exposure to heat or smoke inside an enclosed space you need to worry about internal injury to the throat and airway. Burnings around an entire limb, extremity, those could be life threatening," Dr. Wendell said.

Fire crews were able to put out the flames within about 15 to 20 minutes after arriving on scene. The building was evacuated as well as a nearby building, as a precaution.

According to firesafety.gov, summer fires are mostly caused by barbeque grills, accounting for more than 900 home fires and 3500 outdoor fires a year, or fireworks, accounting for more than 1600 structure fires a year.

Officials say four units were damaged by the blaze. The four families are living in temporary housing. The Red Cross is helping the seven adults and four children.

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