Child Starts House Fire, Officials Say

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Fort Smith firefighters were called to home after a child accidentally started a fire Wednesday afternoon, according to the fire marshal.

A four-year-old child is believed to have been playing with matches or a lighter when the fire started in a bedroom, Fire Marshal Ronnie Rogers said. Flames damaged a bed, a dresser, and the walls and floors of the house located in the 1200 block of N. 44th.

A mother and her three children were in the home at the time. The mother was asleep in another room when the child started the fire, Rogers said.

"Had she not woke up by the smoke alarm, we could’ve had some people that could’ve died,” Rogers said.

The woman ran to the home of her neighbors, Adam Pulliam and his mother Vera. Vera Pulliam said she tried to calm the mother down. "She was shaking all over."

Adam Pulliam said he called the fire department and tried to use a hose from his house to put out the fire.

The woman was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The children were not injured, according to Rogers. 

"If it weren't for us being here and (Adam) helping, there wouldn't be anything left there," said Vera Pulliam.

The gas and electric to the house had to be turned off. Rogers said the home cannot be lived in.