A child playing with a lighter on a living room couch started Friday's house fire in the King Park neighborhood of Columbia.
The house at 2403 Santee Ave. was gutted, and a car was destroyed.
Deputy Chief Aubrey Jenkins said an investigator ruled the fire an accident after finding that a 7-year-old visitor started the fire.
That child, and a preschooler who lived in the home, awakened a sleeping adult to the fire.
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Another adult who lives in the home had left for work.
No one was injured in the fire, but damage at the house, now uninhabitable, was placed at $30,000. An older model Mercury Cougar in the driveway sustained $2,500 damage.
Jenkins said the Red Cross is assisting the family of three. Efforts to reach the Red Cross were not successful.
- Dawn Hinshaw