Boys playing with matches start fire, destroy their house

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. - A mother and her two young sons are lucky to be alive after fire destroyed their house Tuesday.

And, it was the boys playing with matches that caused the blaze, fire officials said.

There's not much left of the house shared by James Humphrey, Meagan Lawson and her sons, ages 5 and 7.

He was at work early Tuesday morning when fire broke out just after 8 o'clock.

The Kenton Fire District has never had a citizen fatality, but they came very close.

 Smoke still rose Tuesday afternoon over a corner of what was left of the two-story house on Klein Road.

It had just been remodeled, but flames were leaping from windows and the roof when firefighters arrived.

The fire began in the boys'  bedroom, according to Capt. Brendan Bradley of the Kenton Fire District.

"They admitted playing with matches in their bedroom," Bradley said. "They stated that something caught fire in their bedroom. Got scared. Evacuated the building."

 "The mother was sleeping in her bedroom at the time. She was unaware of what was going on. The smoke woke her and then she exited the building."

Megan was lucky to get out of the house, fire officials said.

"She stated that fire was already coming through the windows and through the roof by the time she realized the house was on fire," Bradley said.

Panic set in.

Where were her sons?

 "At first, she didn't know that her children had gotten out, so she tried to go back in and then was pushed back by smoke," Bradley said.

 "At that point, she heard her sons screaming. They were standing at the top of the driveway by an outbuilding. She then realized everybody was out and everybody was OK."

Preventing fires like this one is the parents'  responsibility,   Bradley said.

 "Stress to your children not to play with matches -- not to play with lighters -- and try to learn from this if you can."

Many fire departments have juvenile firestarter programs to teach children the dangers of matches, lighters and fire in general.

Contact your area department to see if there's one in your community.

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