There were tense moments for a north Houston family as a fire filled their home with smoke, separating them from their five-year-old child. Houston firefighters were able to quickly find the child, pulling him to safety.
Five-year-old Mario Jordan has learned a dangerous lesson. While family members initially thought the fire was possibly caused by Mario playing with a blanket near a space heater, the Houston Fire Department has determined the cause of the fire. They believe Mario accidentally set fire to a couch while playing with a lighter.
Firefighters say Mario did what often causes deaths of children in fires -- he hid behind a recliner.
"He immediately hid," said HFD District Chief Thomas Ponce. "He was very scared. That's usually what they do, they hide right away."
Fortunately firefighters were able to douse the flames quickly, and rescue the child, who was transported to the hospital, where he was determined to be uninjured. He did suffer quite a scare but his family is thankful he is alive.
Margo said, "He's safe. That's the most important thing. You can get another house, you can rebuild a house, but a life is precious."
The fire was quickly tapped out by firefighters who arrived on the scene in just three minutes. Firefighters urge parents to remind their children that they should not hide if there is a fire in the house.
The child has been referred to the HFD FireStoppers Program. The FireStoppers' goal is to provide the proper education and any other needed intervention for each child that has played with or has set fires to stop the firesetting before it leads to further injury, death, homeless families or problems with the law.
Concerned parents, teachers, members of social services and the Houston Fire Department all refer youths to try to cease their firesetting behavior. This free program is for children 2 to 17 years of age. For more information, citizens may call 713-247-8826.