Family escapes fire started by child playing with lighter

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 22:50:23-04

A Green Bay family is out of their home, after a fire started by a child playing with a lighter.

Green Bay firefighters said without the home's smoke detectors, the fire could've been much worse for the family.

Green Bay Metro Fire Department said they arrived at the fire on Elizabeth Street around 6:00 Wednesday morning.

"We had smoke and flames coming out of the window," said Green Bay Metro Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Vanden Avond.

They were able to put out the fire, costing around 50 thousand dollars in damages.

The fire chief said the smoke detectors saved this family's lives.

"The grandma woke up she did hear the smoke detectors and alerted the rest of the family,” said Battalion Chief Vanden Avond.

He said the family, four kids and two adults, escaped with smoke on their faces.

The fire department also rescued the family dog from the basement.

"This could've been a deadly fire for sure had the smoke detectors not awoken the family,” said Battalion Chief Vanden Avond.

"As soon as that smoke alarm goes off, you know that something not good is happening in your home, and you need to get yourself out of the home immediately,” said the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin’s Executive Director Steve Hansen.

They said while there are damages in the home, the smoke detectors allowed the family to get out injury free.

They emphasized the importance of not only having a smoke detector but making sure it works correctly.

"If they're not working, if the batteries have been pulled out or run out of power, they're not doing you any good,” said Hansen.

The American Red Cross also responded to the home and is working with the family.

According to the American Red Cross, they have a nationwide program for smoke detector installation. They will install smoke detectors in homes free of charge. They say this program began in 2014 and has saved nearly 400 lives.

For more information on the American Red Cross’s smoke detector installation, visit their website: