LORTON, Va. - Investigators believe a 5-year-old boy was playing with a lighter when he accidentally started a fire that left him dead and damaged his Fairfax County house.
“The cause of the fire has been determined that it was a child playing with a lighter and unintentionally set the garage on fire,” said Mathew Barnhardt, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue department.
The fire was reported around 5 p.m. Tuesday in the 8100 block of Arcade Street in Lorton.
Emergency crews say that when they arrived two adults, who had escaped the flames, pointed them to the garage of the home and told them the boy, Stellan Lotuno, was still inside. The firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and attempted to rescue the child.
Stellan was located inside of the garage and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two dogs and three birds were also killed in the fire
An off-duty firefighter and a retired battalion chief attempted to extinguish the fire and rescue the child prior to the arrival of emergency crews. They were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
“Ran up to the house and went in tried to get to garage. His mom was still in the front yard. And she told us he was still in the garage,” said Ty Harrington, the retired firefighter who tried to help rescue the child. “I know the mom is Stacy, she was there in the front yard and they were holding her back from going in.”
The two adult occupants were also hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Two dogs survived the fire and were not injured.
Damages are estimated to be close to $94,000.