South Auckland home nearly burns down after toddler finds mum's lighter

Fire and Emergency is reminding parents to keep lighters out of the reach of children, after a four-year-old nearly burned down his Papakura home.

Crews are praising the quick thinking of the child's mother to get out of the house - in a situation that could've been easily avoidable. 

The aftermath of the fire in a child's room left the bed covered in melted lumps of insulation which fell when the ceiling burned through.

"What we had here was a young child, four years old, got hold of mum's lighter. That happens far too often," said Manurewa Fire Station Officer John Carpenter.

Newshub was invited behind the cordon into the home - to show the damage one lighter can do - especially in the hands of a child.

"It's very easy for mums and dads to forget that children are very inquisitive," Carpenter told Newshub. 

Fire crews arrived shortly before midday.

The fire was out in half an hour but the damage done in such a short space of time is immense.

"Even though she's a good mum, you've got to be very careful to put the lighter high enough so children can't get hold of it."

The house did have smoke alarms - and it was down to the quick thinking of the child's mother that the damage wasn't worse.

"They had the sense to shut the doors to the bedrooms and the lounge as they made their way outside," said Carpenter.

The child has likely learned their lesson already but will get a gentle reminder from firefighters, he continued.

"We'll have someone come and talk to the child. It's non-judgemental, and will hopefully prevent it from happening again."


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