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Young boy starts Chatham house blaze after finding mother's lighter at Glencoe Road home

By Lynn Cox

A young boy set his Chatham home alight - after starting a fire when he found his mother's lighter.

The child, thought to be about five or six, discovered mother-of-five Roxanne Reece's cigarettes and lighter before setting the back of an armchair ablaze last night.

Ms Reece managed to get him and her four other children out safely before firefighters arrived.

The blaze was started by Roxanne Reece's son with a lighter. Picture: Steve Crispe

Crews from Medway and Strood fire stations were called to Glencoe Road at about 7.30pm and discovered a small fire in the living room.

It is believed the boy starting playing with the lighter when he found it unattended and his mother was not looking.

The fire damaged the armchair and part of a window frame, with the room also suffering smoke damage.

Roxanne Reece outside her fire-damaged Chatham home. Picture: Steve Crispe

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "There are two safety messages to get across here.

"The first is never leave your smoking material unattended when there are children in the house as it only takes them a moment to start playing with it.

"The second is make sure your smoke alarms have been checked and are in good working order, as an fire that does break out will be discovered quicker.

"Luckily, in this instance the mother was able to get herself and her children out of the property without any injury."

Fire damage outside Roxanne Reece's house in Glencoe Road. Picture: Steve Crispe

He added: "It was a small fire, but there was a lot of smoke and we used a fan to get it all out of the house.

"We then had a chat with the boy about the dangers of setting fires.

"If parents are concerned their children want to start fires, the brigade can give advice about that too."

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