Fire officials: Child using matches sparked Springfield blaze that killed 3

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. (WHDH) - A fatal fire in Springfield last month that claimed the life of a man and his two children was caused by a child using matches, fire officials said.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Springfield Fire Commissioner Bernard J. Calvi, and Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri announced the cause Wednesday of the March 18 fire on Belmont Avenue.

Aden Abdakdr and his two children, Ahmet, 2, and Fatumo Ahmed, 1, were killed in the blaze that tore through a four-story, 20-unit apartment building and displaced 80 people. The fire originated in their second-floor apartment.

“Every fire starts small; and every fire has the ability to take a life, which is why adults need to take every use of fire by children and youth seriously,” Ostroskey said in a statement. “Children do not have the ability to understand how dangerous fire is or that they cannot control it.”

According to the release, between 2012 and 2016, there were 531 child and youth-set fires reported in Massachusetts. These fires caused one civilian death, 24 civilian injuries, 27 firefighter injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $7 million.

Ostroskey added, “Children using matches and lighters is a common problem nationally and across Massachusetts. Child and youth firesetters will continue to set fires until they receive appropriate intervention. Adults do not help the young firesetter if they do not react appropriately and swiftly to every fire or use of fire. Contact your local fire department, school, or social service agency for a referral to a local child and youth firesetting intervention program that can help the child.”

This is a developing news story, 7News will post additional information as it becomes available.

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