Investigators announced the fire that killed a father and his two young sons inside a Springfield apartment last month was started by a child playing with matches.
The State Fire Marshal said children playing with matches and lighters is more common than you think, and stresses the importance of fire safety.
Authorities said the fire started in the second floor apartment on Belmont Avenue where the victims lived.
Springfield Fire Commissioner B.J. Calvi would like to remind people, especially children, that playing with things like matches and lighters is very dangerous and can have deadly outcomes.
State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey spoke at a press conference Wednesday about a problem that may surprise many, but one that needs to be taken very seriously.
"Parents and adults need to be very vigilant, they need to watch children and make sure they are not playing with matches and lighters, they need to tell them it's an adult tool," Commissioner Calvi said.
Calvi said the department makes an effort to get to all schools and talk to kids about the dangers a fire can have.
"The program goes from K through 12 and we pick a certain grade every year. We have a trailer that we bring in to simulate theatrical smoke and show children how smoke detectors work and set up an exit plan," he explained.
Calvi noted that it's imperative you check your smoke detectors before it's too late.
"Never tamper with your smoke detector, if it starts to beep, make sure you get batteries in it right away. Early warning is the best defense," Calvi continued.
Calvi would also like to stress to never run back into your house or apartment during a fire, no matter what you left inside.
"Leave the firefighting to us and we'll get in there and do the best we can for you but don't risk your life trying to go back in for something," he added.
Over a dozen families have been able to go back to their homes inside the apartment building on Belmont Avenue.
Donations are also still be collected at Jewish Family Services of western Massachusetts, and they also asking for gift card donations at this time.
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