3-year-old still recovering after apartment fire in Newport News

Posted at 7:49 AM, May 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-02 19:22:32-04

Newport News, Va. – A 3-year-old child was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after a fire at an apartment on 16th Street Wednesday night.

Authorities believe he accidentally started the fire after playing with a lighter.

Newport News fire crews arrived at the fire in the 600 Block of 16th Street at 10:34 PM to find smoke showing from the second floor of the two-story apartment.

Police officers on scene reported that there was a child in an upstairs bedroom. The officers attempted to enter the second floor of the apartment to find the child but were unable due to heavy smoke and heat.

Fire fighters entered the structure and began an aggressive interior fire attack and conducted a search for the child. The child was located in a second floor bedroom.  He was rushed to Riverside Regional Medical Center Wednesday night, and was transported to CHKD Thursday morning.

One police officer was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The initial crews entering the structure did not hear smoke detectors.  Authorities later said the boy's mother heard the detectors, but the heat from the fire melted the plastic.

The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross, Hampton Chapter.