Boy, 5, playing with lighter causes townhome fire

American Red Cross assisting those displaced by fire in Miami Gardens


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A 5-year-old boy accidentally started a fire at his Miami Gardens townhome while playing with a lighter Wednesday.

"I came in the house not even 5 minutes later, I hear boom at the door and they say, 'Come out the door,'" Sakeenia Brown said after firefighters rushed her out.

When Brown ran outside, she saw the townhome next door on Northwest 39th Avenue engulfed in flames.

"There was too much smoke," Brown said.

Neighbors said the two homes on each side of the burning townhome were evacuated about 10 a.m.

Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue said a boy who was inside playing with a lighter caused the fire.

"If I could've been out here a couple of more minutes, I probably could've tried to help them," Brown said.

No one was injured in the fire, but at least seven people didn't have a home to return to Wednesday night.

Brown said although there is no fire damage to her townhome, there is too much water and smoke damage for her family of four to stay there.

The American Red Cross is helping the families who need a place to stay for the next three nights.

That 5-year-old who accidentally started the fire will go to a youth program intended to educate him on the dangers of playing with fire.