Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MDFR Rescues Puppy From Fire Set By Child

MIAMI (CBS4) -- A 7-year-old boy playing with matches is to blame for a fire in his South Florida home which nearly claimed the life of a puppy.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived at the home, located at 2001 SW 82nd Avenue around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night. Smoke and flames poured from the bedroom windows of the single-story family home. After entering the house, firefighters discovered that the fire started in a room which was added as a separate apartment.

The family, which was home at the time, escaped the fire without getting hurt but their puppy was stuck inside. Fire crews rescued the small dog which was hiding near a sofa. The dog suffered smoke inhalation and was treated by paramedics with a pet oxygen mask.

The fire, which took 20 minutes to extinguish, destroyed the apartment. The remaining part of the home will remain off-limits until power can be restored.

Fire investigators discovered the fire was started by a 7-year-old boy who was playing with matches. He'll be required to take a fire starter's education program.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), in 2006, children playing with fire started an estimated 14,500 structure fires, causing an estimated 130 deaths, 819 injuries and 328 million dollars in property damage. They also noted that nearly 63 percent of all fatal victims of fires by playing are children five-years-old or younger and involve matches and lighters.

All fire trucks in Miami-Dade County are equipped with life-saving pet oxygen masks thanks to a generous donation by The Clydey Foundation earlier this year. The non-profit organization, dedicated to helping pets in need, wrote a check to outfit each truck with a pet oxygen mask, following a Neighbors 4 Neighbors in the Community report that aired on CBS4 News on September 16th.

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