St. Joseph man treated for burned hand in apartment fire

St. Joseph man treated for burned hand in apartment fire

ST. JOSEPH — A fire set by a toddler in a pile of clothes did about $8,000 worth of damage to a St. Joseph apartment Wednesday morning and sent his father to an area hospital for a burn to his hand.

St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District Chief Rusty Chism said firefighters were called to the home of Greg A. Smith, 23, at 1921 Chateau in St. Joseph at 10:35 a.m.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Coile, Smith had been sleeping in the bedroom when he was awakened by the sound of his 3-year-old son screaming.

Smith saw flames beside his bed and took his son and 7-month-old daughter out of the apartment to a neighbor’s next door, Coile said.

Smith then went back in and attempted to put the fire out using an extinguisher, Chism said. He burned a hand and was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital where he was treated and released.

Smith and the children were safely out when firefighters arrived at the four-unit building. Chism said firefighters saw smoke coming out the door when they pulled up.

Chism said he talked to the boy and learned that he had obtained a cigarette lighter from another room and was playing with it in a pile of clothes next to the bed.

About a half dozen firefighters were at the apartment for about an hour getting the smoke out and assessing the damage.

Comments embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments