Two toddlers playing with matches set fire to a large clown doll under their parents’ bed sparking a fire that severely damaged the master bedroom of a Te Puke house.
Firefighters were called to the Allanah Place home at 4.32pm on Monday where they found the house heavily smoke logged.
Fire safety officer Ken McKeagg says a two-year-old and a three-year-old playing with matches set fire to the large doll, about five feet tall, stored under the parents’ bed.
“There was no other place to store it, so they poked it under the parents’ bed,” says fire safety officer Ken McKeagg.
“The kids got hold of some matches and set it on fire. I have seen a three-year-old use a lighter but they seem to work on matches a bit easier.”
When firefighters arrived the house was heavily smoke logged and the toy clown was still smouldering.
Firefighters spent more than an hour removing the burnt items from the master bedroom where everything plastic including the light fittings had melted.
Ken says the damage to the bedroom was extensive.
The only door open from the bedroom at the time was to the walk in wardrobe and the doors to the rest of the house and the en-suite were closed.
“There was fairly extensive smoke and heat damage, very minor fire damage, says Ken.
“The clown never erupted into flames. It just smouldered, and the heat build-up was something horrific.”
The house had about seven smoke alarms, says Ken.
The mother and two children had arrived home at about 4pm and the children’s mother was hanging out the washing when she smelt smoke and re-entered the home to find the fire.
No one was injured in the fire.