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Fire started by 4-year-old destroys Modesto home

January 9, 2012 |  9:10 am

 A 4-year-old playing with matches started a fire that destroyed a Modesto home, authorities said.

The child was playing with matches early Sunday in bed, sparking the fire that quickly engulfed the home, Modesto fire officials said. Firefighters told Fox40 News that matches were sprawled throughout the home. 

The heat from the blaze was hot enough to fuse shut the refrigerator door and melt bottles inside. The family tried to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose, Fox40 News reported, but the flames could not be contained.

A baby girl and dog were trapped inside the burning house. The father, who rented the home, rescued the baby, but the dog died in the blaze, Fox40 News reported.

"It was either the dog or the baby," said Richard Cano, the home's owner, "and he made the correct choice."

No injuries were reported.

"It's traumatic for everybody," Cano told Fox40 News. "... This is something that nobody wishes.... Accidents are accidents."

Cano said he was heartbroken over the loss of the Modesto home he grew up in. He was shocked to learn from Fox40 News that a child had started the blaze.

"I did not know that," he said. "That's terrible. ... If that's what happened ... my question would be: 'Where were the parents?' "

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-- Angel Jennings

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