NEW ORLEANS - Two young children playing with a lighter and throwing lit wads of paper out of a second-story window caused a fire that badly damaged two townhouses Sunday in New Orleans East, according to the New Orleans Fire Department.
The fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. in the 6700 block of Tara Lane.
According to a fire department spokesman, two boys ages 7 and 4 were lighting the paper on fire and tossing it out of a window when their father smelled smoke and rushed outside to see that some of the lit paper had ignited a tarp on a deck outside of the home.
The spokesman said that the father had put out the visible fire with a hose, but that it had already spread the rear wall of the dwelling and neighboring townhouses.
The townhomes at 6720 and 6722 Tara Lane suffered signifcant damage while those at 6718 and 6724 received water and smoke damage.
The New Orleans Police Department, New Emergency Medical Service and Entergy all participated in the mitigation of this incident. The American Red Cross was also on hand to assist the families displaced by this fire.