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Boy playing with lighter started fatal Ala. fire

RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say a 4-year-old boy playing with a cigarette lighter started a fire that killed his 2-year-old sister who became trapped inside her family's burning home.

Firefighters said Melissa Andres Juan was asleep in her bed when the fire started July 28. Juan "Juanito" Diego, was playing with the lighter when the fire started. The fire began in the bedroom, where the girl, her father, Pascual Diego, and brother were.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paul said they first thought the fire was started by a candle.

The fire moved from the bedroom to the living room and blew out the front window. The father suffered numerous burns on his arms, face and neck when he went back into the house to try to rescue the toddler.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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