[cifnmedia] Child Lights Match that starts fire

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 11:12:13 -0700 (PDT)

Child lights match that starts Hawkeye house fire
By: Janell Bradley April 20, 2004 
       Instead of awaking Sunday morning to the sound of birds singing 
following an early morning rain, Joe and Jamie Guyer were alerted to fire in 
their home when the smoke detectors sounded about 7:30 a.m.  

      "The whole bedroom was on fire," said Joe of the room his 2-1/2 and 4-1/2 
year old daughters share on the second floor of a two-story house on this 
town's Main Street.
      The family burns wood to heat the house and curiosity apparently got the 
best of daughter, Hannah, who they believe lit a wooden match and then out of 
fright, dropped it in her room.
      As the family scurried to get out of the house, Joe recalls, "I couldn't 
find Hannah at first," adding, "I suppose she thought she was in trouble." But 
the Guyers and all four of their small children, escaped the smoke and flames. 
Besides the two girls, their children are three month old Tanner and 
two-year-old Caleb. The infant, who underwent surgery to remove a birth defect 
from his trachea just a month ago, was treated at Palmer Lutheran Health Center 
in West Union for smoke inhalation. Joe was similarlly examined a little later 
in the day.
      "It's been one thing after another," said Guyer about his family's 
      The Guyers purchased their home about two years ago and had just finished 
a major remodel of the interior one month ago that included rewiring, new 
flooring and drywall and adding a deck to the exterior.
      "I watched two years of work go up in smoke in about two minutes," Guyer 
said. "We lost most of the furniture and the kids' clothes. We'll pretty much 
have to throw everything out," he said of the resulting damage.
      Although the fire damage was limited to the second story, there is water 
damage throughout the living room and smoke damage throughout the house. Guyer 
said as of Monday he did not know a damage estimate.
      Until costs to repair the damage are available, the family of six is 
living with Joe's parents, Les and Sally Guyer in Clermont.
      As for their four-year-old, the Guyers hope she learned a lesson, said 
      "We didn't blame her for it," he said. "It would be pretty hard to find 
any kids that aren't curious about fire."
      The Hawkeye Fire Department was at the scene for a little more than an 
      The American Red Cross of Fayette County is providing assistance to the 

©Newspapers of Fayette County 2004  

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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