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Melbourne Fla--Children with matches spark fire that damages home

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  • Melbourne Fla--Children with matches spark fire that damages home

    News Florida Today

    Smoke damage displaces family

    Twins, 3, ignite mom's mattress with lighter

    By Enrique Heredero

    MELBOURNE -- The 3-year-old redhead walked into his mother's bedroom and picked up a melted Star Wars video and offered it to his mother.

    "I'm sorry, sweetheart. It doesn't work," said 26-year-old Amanda Freida.

    Freida then looked away, the damaged house smelling of smoke, and said, "They like 'Star Wars.' "

    The family lost many of their belongings Thursday morning when Freida's mattress caught fire. The 3-year-old and his twin somehow got a hold of a lighter and tried to light their mom's candles on the bedpost.

    "The boys kept me up last night, and I got up to fix them breakfast at around 8 a.m. We then went to the couch to watch cartoons. While I lay there, I fell asleep. At around 9 a.m, I awoke to the smell of smoke," she said.

    Freida saw the glow of flames inside her bedroom and got a fire extinguisher from under the kitchen sink and was able to put out much of the fire.

    Her boys and their four dogs, three Dalmatians and a puppy Chow Chow, were not hurt. A cat also was unharmed.

    A wall in the living room was blackened from the smoke. Her husband, a former firefighter who was working at the time of the fire, has a fire truck collection in the living room that remained intact.

    Though most of Freida's Betty Boop collection was intact, a large Betty Boop picture on her bedroom wall was destroyed.

    Her bedroom was a wreck. Wet black ash was caked on the floor, a 32-inch television was melted and VCR was melted. A child's plastic fireman's hat was near the doorway to the bedroom. An assortment of children's videos were destroyed.

    Precious photographs from her childhood were ruined in the blaze.

    "That's my great-grandmother and me," Freida said, pointing to a blackened photograph.

    Now, the family has to look for a new place to live. Freida and her children currently are staying at a hotel room provided by the Red Cross.

    "We already spoke to a man we know that has a house for rent," she said. "It's going to be more expensive, so we're going to be tight on money. But we have to do what we have to do."
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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