BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Fire investigators have determined that a child playing with a lighter resulted in the death of a 58-year-old man Monday night.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department reported the child, who is under the age of 9, accidentally started the blaze at a home on Voohries Street just before 10 p.m.
"This tragic event marks the ninth fire in the city this year to be started by a child," Curt Monte, spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department, said. "The child and family will be counseled and offered assistance by entering the Juvenile Fire Setter Program."
Monte said during the summer when school is out children have time on their hands and are curious. He stresses that parents need to talk fire safety with them.
According to statistics, fires caused roughly $18 million in estimated damages during 2014. Of course, that amount is nothing compared to the loss of life.
"Although all of us grieve when such a horrible tragedy occurs, we also must recognize the importance of safety education in the home and the workplace," Monte explained.
There were smoke detectors in the home, but they did not appear to be working at the time of the fire.
"Please take this time to talk to your loved ones and neighbors about safety in the home. Check your smoke detectors and practice your escape plans. You want to know two ways out of every room in your house and a meeting place when you get outside. If you should have any questions about fire safety, we urge you to contact the Baton Rouge Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau at (225) 354-1430," Monte added.
You can also sign up for a fire prevention class by clicking here.