Belleville fatal fire caused by child playing with lighter

BELLEVILLE, Kan. (AP) — Fire officials say a fire in north-central Kansas that killed a toddler was started by a child playing with a lighter.

Monday’s fire killed 21-month-old Sawyer White, who was trapped in the basement of a family home in Belleville. His 3-year-old brother was treated for a burned finger.

Belleville fire chief Duffy Strnad says the fire started in a basement bedroom. He says a fire marshal’s report did not specify which child was playing with the lighter.

The Salina Journal reports the boys’ father was at work and their mother, who works nights, was sleeping upstairs when the fire started. Strnad says the older boy was able to go upstairs and wake his mother, who could not rescue her younger son because of the smoke and fire.


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