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Fire Chief: Child with lighter causes holiday house fire

By Kyle Horan
Published On: Nov 25 2012 06:23:48 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 26 2012 12:36:25 PM CST

Eight people narrowly escaped a fast spreading house fire on Thanksgiving night in Craven County.

After eating dinner and going to bed, the Holden family was awakened by fire in the house at about 10:20p.m.

The family got out as fast as the could, by the time they got to a ditch outside, flames were already coming out of the house.

"Other than those clothes, everything's gone. Beds are gone, kitchen table's gone," Candace Holden said. "I had a kid under one arm and a TV under the other and I threw them both out the door."

Seven people lived in the house which is on 122 Karol Dr. According to family members, a visiting 6-year-old relative lit a comforter on fire with a lighter.

Havelock firefighters had the blaze out in about 30 minutes. It was enough time for the family to lose one of their two cats.  Fire Chief Rick Zaccardelli confirmed the fire was caused by a lighter the child was using; the fire has been ruled accidental.

The Red Cross is currently housing the family in a hotel while they get back on their feet.