Child with matches blamed for house fire

A child playing with matches appears to have caused a one-alarm fire in Pittsburg that displaced a family with four children on Tuesday evening, a fire captain said Wednesday.

Firefighters responded at 6:20 p.m. to a report of a fire at a single-family home in the 2200 block of Woodhill Drive, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. George Laing said.

Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor of the two-story home, Laing said.

He said it took firefighters approximately 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Four juveniles and their mother were able to make it out of the home safely and no one reported any injuries.

Laing said it appears one of the children was playing with matches on the second floor and sparked the blaze.

He said the first floor’s smoke alarm had been removed but the smoke detector on the second floor was working.

The alarm alerted one of the children, who woke up the mother, and she was able to grab the other kids and safely leave the house, Laing said.

The fire spread throughout the second floor and Laing said smoke and water damaged the first floor. He estimated the damage to be at least $60,000 or more for the structure of the home and its contents.

The American Red Cross responded to assist the family, he said.