Child playing with matches causes Thanksgiving eve fire in Roseville

Emergency responders dispatched to ‘high level’ blaze on Church Street
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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“Lucky, very lucky.”

Those were the words of Roseville Fire Department Cpt. Scott Pepper after a child playing with matches caught part of his house on fire while his mother was sleeping.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. this morning when emergency dispatch was alerted to a high-level structure fire on the 200 block of Church Street, almost directly across the street from the First United Methodist Church.

The owner of the house, Danielle Barba, has been suffering from the flu. Weary and exhausted, she laid down for a morning nap while her young son occupied himself. Barba told the Press Tribune that she had floated off to sleep and then was awoken by the sound of her son screaming. Rousing, she saw her closet was ablaze.

Barba and her son rushed out into the rain in their pajamas while Roseville firefighters converged on the scene. Two fire engines and three latter trucks pulled up to the smoke-filled house while Roseville police officers blocked off Church Street at Grant Street and Washington Boulevard.

Firefighters knocked down the flames in fewer then ten minutes.

“It turned out there’s minimal damage,” Pepper said at the scene. “The fire really only affected the one room that the closet is in.”

After talking with her son amidst the drizzling rain and labyrinth of emergency lights, Barba confirmed that her son had evidently started the fire while playing with matches.

“I’m just glad that you’re OK,” Pepper told the boy, once the youngster mustered the courage to tell him what had happened.

Pepper emphasized to the Press Tribune that all involved were lucky the situation ended the way it did.   

Scott Thomas Anderson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at ScottA_RsvPT.