Cambridge fire started by child playing with lighter displaces residents, officials say
CAMBRIDGE, Wis. — A Cambridge fire that displaced three people was started by an 8-year-old playing with a torch lighter he uses for crafts, according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.
The child accidentally lit a couch on fire in an apartment in a four-unit complex at 311 N. Pleasant Street in the village of Cambridge, the release said. The damage is estimated at more than $300,000 in the unit and about $20,000 to the exterior of a next-door building.
“Certainly, we want to have kids aware that these things are real dangerous in a building, whether inside or outside, but inside if things start quickly, people can be in danger,” Cambridge Fire Chief Terry Johnson said.
According to First Assistant Chief Tim Scott, of the Cambridge Fire Department, crews responded around 2:34 p.m. Sunday to find flames coming out of the building.
The fire was extinguished about 20 minutes after they arrived.
” The unit that was on fire is a total loss. It’s gutted, ” Scott said.
The other three units have minor damage.
Everyone was able to get out safely, including pets. It’s unknown if the house had smoke alarms.
Scott said the family tried to put out the fire themselves, but eventually gave up and got out of the house. He noted the best thing to do in that situation is get out and stay out.
The man who lives in the second unit said he had been saving up cash, much of which was destroyed, but is grateful everyone, including his two sons, made it out safely.
The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said sheriff’s deputies, along with firefighters and EMS from Cambridge, Deerfield and Lake Mills assisted. Red Cross is providing assistance to residents.
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