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3-year-old starts house fire in Mount Airy

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C.-- It's a dangerous and sad reminder of what can happen when kids play with fire and on Tuesday a family of seven lost everything.

Firefighters said a 3-year-old was playing with a cigarette lighter and once the grandma figured it out -- it was too late.

"He goes up there and watches TV, sits on the bed and that's what we thought he was doing. (We) didn't have no idea he had a lighter," explained Claudine Ayers, the homeowner.

The fire started around 5:30 p.m and all it took was a few minutes for the fire to take over.

"The room was just blazing and then all of a sudden it started rolling down the steps and we all had to get out and started screaming somebody call the fire department," said Ayers.

Ayers owned the home for 29 years and lived there with her son, daughter-in-law and four young kids. The entire family made is out safely.

Firefighters had to call in extra crews to battle the flames. After three hours the home had been severely damaged.

The family recently lost their home insurance and won’t be able to recuperate the loss.

"We lost everything. We got nothing, nowhere to go," said Ayers.

The family is now depending on the community's generosity to get them through.

Donations for the family are being accepted at the Quality Inn in Mount Airy.