UPDATE: Child, lighter and candle cause fire - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Child, lighter and candle cause fire


WESTON (WAOW) – A child playing with a lighter and candle in a basement bedroom caused the fire that destroyed a Weston home, investigators said Thursday.

A 7-year-old who lives at the home admitted to playing with the lighter, which caused carpeting and other items to catch fire, Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks said in a statement.

A mother and three children ages 5, 7 and 10 plus the family dog got out of the house unharmed after a fire alarm went off about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sparks said.

The mother saw smoke coming from the downstairs level of the raised ranch home and then checked to find fire coming from one of the downstairs bedrooms,” Sparks said.

Investigators estimated the damage to the home at about $200,000.

A fire has destroyed a home in Weston, but authorities say no one was hurt.

Weston fire officials say the fire started just after 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters tell Newsline 9, when they arrived the entire house was up in flames. Four different fire departments responded.

Hundreds of neighbors gathered on the surrounding sidewalks and streets watching firefighters put the fire out. One neighbor, Michelle Lindell, said when she saw flames she rushed to the home to make sure everyone was out.

"We just started yelling, get out, get out, get everyone out," said Lindell "Everyone is really rallying and giving support and I think we're going to see that in the coming days, this family needs our help."

Officials say a woman and her children got out safely.

"Shortly after arrival the house began to collapse, probably due to light weight construction in most homes, so that was another reason we don't like putting people in as fast as we normally would. So, we did life safety, started getting water on the fire, containing it, and get to a point where we can mop up and eventually get inside and figure out what happened," explained Weston Fire Chief Steve Meilahn.

Firefighters say they'll remain on scene for several hours as they work to make sure the fire stays out. Officials say they don't know where the fire started, or what caused it.

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