Mom: My four-year-old son set our house on fire

Posted at 8:25 AM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 18:52:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A four-year-old boy started the bedroom fire that damaged his family's Minor Street home Saturday night in Richmond, his mother said. Five children and two adults were able to escape the fire unharmed. Latarsha Trice said her children were watching TV and playing on their phones in their bedroom while she fell asleep Saturday evening. It was around 7:30 p.m. that she heard knocking and screams.

"I heard a knock on my door. 'Mom, mom, the room is on fire,'" Trice recalled her daughter said as she woke up. Trice said when she got out of bed and looked down the hallway, she just saw red and orange.

"We heard the windows busting out. There were flames shooting out of the roof," she said.

Fire damages home on Minor Street

Fire damages home on Minor Street

After she and her children's father tried to put out the flames with water, they thought it best to gather everyone up and escape the burning home before the fire spread. It was only after the fire was extinguished that she said she learned how it all started.

"My four-year-old [son] told investigators that he was in my [other] son's room and he had a lighter and he lit the mattress on fire," Trice said. "The investigators said everything my four-year old told them, it concurred to what they found in the room."

Trice's children lost most of their clothes, shoes and electronics in the fire. Trice, who recently did not renew her renter's insurance, had some advice for other parents.

"Don't leave anything around kids. I don't care how old they are or how young they are. Just be aware," she said.

The Red Cross has been notified to help Trice and her family.

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