Everyone safe after 4-year-old starts fire with lighter

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JEFFERSON CITY - A family said their home is a total loss after a child got ahold of a lighter and started a fire Thursday afternoon.

Phillip Lumas said he left his 11-month-old baby, 4-year-old son and 5-year-old niece home alone while he went to work.

Lumas said his 4-year-old had a lighter and set a mattress box spring on fire, which caught the whole house on fire.

He said his sister called him at work and told him the house was on fire.

Lumas said he was able to stick his head out the window and see the smoke coming from the house. He said he called his wife to get the kids out of the house, and everyone was able to get out OK.

The Jefferson City Fire Department said it was dispatched at 2:43 p.m. to the two-story house at 216 Argonne Street and had the fire out in 10 to 15 minutes.

Lumas said the house is still standing, but everything on the first floor is gone.

Michael Williams lived in the second-story of the house; the landlord said damage to his floor was not as significant.