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Town of Superior fire causes $8,000 damage; 1 sent to hospital

A fire started by a child playing with a novelty lighter caused an estimated $8,000 damage to a town of Superior residence Monday, April 8. One man suffering from smoke inhalation was transported via Mayo Clinic Ambulance to a local hospital. No other injuries were reported.

The Town of Superior Volunteer Fire Department was called to a structure fire on the 4100 block of County Road A at 4:25 p.m. Town of Superior, Parkland, Oakland and Summit volunteer fire departments, Mayo Clinic Ambulance, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and East Central Energy were on scene within nine minutes of the call, according to Town of Superior Fire Chief Darryl Fiegle.

Crews entered and found a single room and its contents on fire. They were able to extinguish the fire quickly and remove the burning material from the residence. Fiegle said that the homeowner's decision to close the door to the room helped keep the fire contained to that room.

The damage was contained to a mattress and was consistent with a child playing with a lighter, according to a report from Sgt. Matt DeRosia with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

"Remember to make sure all lighters and matches are out of the reach of children even if they are aware of the dangers," Fiegle said. "Curiosity will sometimes overcome common sense."

Dispatchers reported that the home's occupants tried to put the fire out with a garden hose prior to firefighters' arrival and refused to leave at the request of dispatchers. The homeowner continued to enter the house after crews arrived until DeRosia detained him, according to the sergeant's report. The man was transported to Essentia Hospital of Superior for treatment for smoke inhalation.

Fire crews cleared the scene at 6 p.m. The Red Cross was called to assist the family for shelter overnight.