A 6-year-old boy died while playing with his two siblings, ages 9 and 4, after setting fire to a “small pile of combustible objects,” authorities said. The children had been playing in a make-believe “fort.”
The tragedy occurred in Geismar, Louisiana where the children had been playing on a concrete staircase on a trailer in front of a relative’s house.
The Children Used a Lighter to Ignite a ‘Campfire’ Inside the ‘Fort.’
NEWS RELEASE- CHILD DIES IN GEISMAR FIRE pic.twitter.com/QP6yLBANHd— Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (@LAFIREMARSHAL) October 11, 2021
The children used a lighter Sunday afternoon to ignite “a small pile of combustible objects as though it was a campfire,” the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office said in a press release Monday.
The children had covered a hollow, prefabricated, concrete stairway as their make-believe fort. “While the other two children were able to escape unharmed, the 6-year-old was trapped and died,” the statement continued.
When the flames got too high, the other children escaped but not the 6-year-old.
When Geismar firefighters and Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies arrived at about 2:30 p.m. October 10, they found the flatbed and a cargo trailer and its contents ablaze, NBC News reports. The boy’s body was found under the cargo trailer’s contents, the news release said.
The trailer was in the front yard of relatives who lived next door to the kid’s family. Adults were in both homes at the time, the statement also said.
The 6-year-old’s body was found underneath the smoldering “fort.”
“There is no other way to describe this other than purely tragic,” State Fire Marshal H. Butch Browning said in the statement. “While we are keeping this child and his family in our prayers, we’re also pleading with other families to learn from this devastating loss.”
Browning encouraged parents to keep all “smoking-related items,” such as lighters, away from children.
“In addition, the SFM asks parents and guardians to remind children and teenagers that fire is not a toy and that playing with fire can have dangerous consequences for them as well as the people and property around them,” the statement also said.
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