5-yr-old started Oceanside fire that displaced family of 7 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

5-yr-old started Oceanside fire that displaced family of 7

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OCEANSIDE (CNS) - A 5-year-old playing with a lighter started a fire that caused $230,000 in damage and left a family of seven displaced from their Oceanside home Saturday, the Oceanside Fire Department said.  

The blaze broke out about 4 p.m. Friday in the three-car garage attached to a rental home in the 900 block of Newport Street, near the San Luis Rey gate to Camp Pendleton, according to Oceanside Fire Department Battalion Chief Peter Lawrence.    

The family escaped injury, but a pet cat got a burn injury and another cat was killed, Lawrence said.  

About 25 firefighters from the Oceanside, Vista and Camp Pendleton fire departments had the blaze controlled in 12 minutes, but it took them nearly an hour to completely extinguish the flames, Lawrence said.  

The firefighters kept the flames from spreading to the home's interior or to houses on either side of the residence, but the fire destroyed the garage and spread into the attic, Lawrence said. Firefighters covered the household belongings with plastic to reduce damage.  

The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in property damage and another $30,000 in damage to the contents to the garage and the house, Lawrence said.

The house was insured by the homeowner, however the family did not have rental insurance for their belongings.    

The American Red Cross was called to the scene to provide temporary accommodations, Lawrence said.  

An investigator determined the blaze was caused by a 5-year-old playing with a lighter in the garage, Lawrence said.  The blaze was considered accidental and the child will be enrolled in a juvenile fire-setter diversion program. 

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