A house at the corner of F and 11th Streets in Fairbury caught fire on Thursday when children who were playing with a lighter started a blaze they couldn’t put out.
Steve Zimmerman, of the Fairbury City Fire Department, explained that the call came in at roughly 5 p.m. on Thursday, and that with the help of the Fairbury Rural Fire Department, they were able to get the fire under control in roughly 15 minutes, though they stayed on scene to search the house for any signs that the fire had spread.
“It was paged in as a porch on fire with flames and smoke visible,” said Zimmerman. “On arrival, the first crews were able to knock down the fire on the porch end of it. We kept the fire isolated to the porch, though we had to do a little on the inside of the house to check for extension of the fire, but none was really found. The lean-to/porch area is a total loss because it was a fiberglass roof. Overall we had a very good response between Fairbury City and Fairbury Rural. We had about 20 people.”
Zimmerman stated that two children who were playing with a lighter on the porch caused the fire. A mother and child were inside the house, according to Zimmerman, though no one was harmed.
“We believe that two juveniles playing with a lighter were responsible at this point,” Zimmerman said. “That’s what we suspect because there was no electricity or other source we could find. They attempted to put it out themselves and when they weren’t able to, they got the mother and she called 911.”
Zimmerman emphasized how important it is to teach children to not play with fire.
“Everyone has to be careful with these things,” said Zimmerman. “It’s the same old story with these things, preaching fire safety and telling kids not to play with lighters or matches because it can cause bad things to happen.”
The Fairbury Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the call.