Unfortunately, kid can work lighter

By Helen Anne Travis and Michael A. Mohammed
Published October 20, 2006

Four-year-old Arron Cosme was searching for his kitten, Smokey, Thursday morning. He found his way past his mother's locked bedroom door, picked up a combination flashlight/lighter gadget, and crawled under the bed.

He turned it on, and light came out. Light, and fire.

As he ran out of the room, the bedspread started to burn.

By the time he alerted his aunt and her boyfriend, the whole bedroom was on fire. At least, that's the story Arron's mother, Melissa Cosme, pieced together afterward. She had been at work, and left her five children in her sister's care.

Cosme said she was mystified at how Arron could have ignited the lighter, even if he did it on purpose.

"Even I have a hard time lighting it," she said.

Cosme added she was sure she had locked her bedroom door but thinks her sister's boyfriend taught Arron to pick the lock. Cosme raced home to find her house smoldering.

Everyone in the house made it out, and firefighters put out the blaze in the bedroom, where it caused about $2,000 worth of damage.

Investigators said Smokey died, probably from asphyxiation.