Townhouse fire caused by child playing with matches - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Townhouse fire caused by child playing with matches

Fire crews battled the fire at the Rivergrove Townhouses on the 3900 block of Rio Lobo Drive at James Road. Fire crews battled the fire at the Rivergrove Townhouses on the 3900 block of Rio Lobo Drive at James Road.
Lt. Wayne Cooke says firefighters are still working to put out hot spots. The official cause of the fire has not yet been determined by investigators. Lt. Wayne Cooke says firefighters are still working to put out hot spots. The official cause of the fire has not yet been determined by investigators.

(WMC-TV) – A large townhouse fire was started when a child, who was home alone, was playing with matches, according to fire officials.

Fire crews battled the fire at the Rivergrove Townhouses on the 3900 block of Rio Lobo Drive at James Road. The complex sits north of where I-40 intersects with Jackson Avenue.

"Flames were very high, flames were so high, I was like, 'Oh my God,'" said Danny Brown. "I'm just shaking here. Nervous from seeing all this."

According to Memphis Fire Department, one firefighter was injured and transported to Regional Oone, formerly the MED.

"When it came through the roof, the safety of our firefighters was a concern," said Lt. Wayne Cooke, Memphis Fire Department. "We pulled our firefighters out of the structure."

The official cause of the fire was that a child was "playing with matches in the kitchen."

Witness Brown says it started when a 13-year-old boy tried to cook for himself.

"He was at home trying to cook, trying to cook him a meal and things didn't turn out so well," said Brown, who knocked on neighbor's doors with the boy to alert them to the fire. "I just thank God everybody got out safely ... Material things can be put back, but lives can't be."

At least three units in the building were damaged.

High winds sent the fire into a nearby field that is now charred.

To see more photos from the scene of the fire, click here: http://www.wmctv.com/slideshow?widgetid=108314&clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass

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