Shed fire damages mobile home; family homeless
A 4-year-old boy playing with a lighter started a fire that destroyed a shed, damaged a mobile home and left eight people homeless Saturday night.
Grand Junction Fire Capt. Gus Hendricks said damage was estimated around $25,000 at 480 28 1/4 Road, Unit 51, from a fire that broke out around 7:40 p.m., shooting black plumes of smoke, visible from at least a mile away, into the air.
The boy, who lives at the unit that was damaged, told his aunt he was playing with a lighter inside a shed at the rear of the unit and set a mattress on fire, Hendricks said.
The child’s aunt ran to neighbors, who called 911, Hendricks said.
Hendricks said the shed and its contents were destroyed, and the blaze spread to the rear exterior of the mobile home, which sustained extensive damage. The interior had minimal damage, mostly smoke- related.
The Western Colorado Red Cross is expected to provide shelter to the displaced eight, who included the boy who started the fire and his aunt, Hendricks said.
The boy won’t be prosecuted, but he is a candidate for the Grand Junction Fire Department juvenile fire-setter program, Hendricks said. The program, which is taught by fire specialists over four to six sessions, teaches young children about the dangers of playing with fire.
Hendricks said children can be court-ordered to attend or enrolled by families free of charge.
“It sounds like the family’s interested in getting him enrolled,” Hendricks said.