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Calexico fire officials urging parents to alert kids to dangers of fire

counseling available

July 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Fire officials here are urging parents to seek help if they find their children playing with fire

Firefighters said there are services in the Valley to counsel children about the dangers of fire.

Earlier this week, the Calexico Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 300 block of Sixth Street and found heavy smoke coming from one bedroom.

Fire Capt. Ernesto Avila said crews extinguished the fire within 15 minutes. Once the fire was "knocked down," Avila said, crews started to investigate the cause.

They determined a 6-year-old boy had been playing around the stove and had apparently ignited a rubber antennae on a radio.

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Afraid, the boy took the radio and threw it into his room, Avila said. The fire quickly spread to a mattress and a wall in the bedroom.

Neither the boy nor any occupants was injured. The fire caused about $3,000 in damage.

Avila said the boy's mother had caught him playing around the stove the day before the fire occurred.

He added if a child is found to be playing with fire, parents can get help in explaining to the child the danger of such actions.

He said families can call the Calexico Fire Department at 768-2150 and fire officials will refer families to the Imperial Valley representative of the San Diego-based Burn Institute.

The Burn Institute, which offers fire-prevention programs throughout the year, can be reached in San Diego at (858) 541-7179 and locally at 355-3175.

Fernando Felix is the local representative of the institute. He divides time between San Diego and the Imperial Valley.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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