Toddler playing with a butane mini torch ignites motel room fire

On April 14, 2024, at approximately 08:49 a.m. the Susanville Interagency Dispatch Center dispatched the Susanville Fire Department to a reported commercial structure fire at the Frontier Inn, 2685 Main Street.

Engine 621 arrived on scene at 8:52 a.m. and found an extinguished fire in a first-floor motel room. The fire was contained to a mattress and bedding materials. All other responding units were cancelled.

E621 confirmed the fire was out, performed overhaul of the scene and confirmed there was no extension of fire to any other areas or items in the room and no extension to other parts of the motel.

Once the overhaul was completed, a fire investigation began. Through investigation and a statement from the occupant, it was determined to be an unintentional fire due to a toddler playing with a butane mini torch and igniting a blanket on the bed. Fortunately, the occupant was able to get themself and two toddlers out of the room without injury. The occupant then retrieved a fire extinguisher and extinguished the fire.

There were no civilian injuries and no firefighter injuries. CalFire, the city of Susanville Gas Department and the Susanville Police Department supported the SFD.

The SFD would like to remind the public that matches, lighters and mini torches are tools, not toys. Never allow children to play with matches or lighters, and to not leave young children unattended. Matches, lighters, and mini torches can be deadly in a child’s hand.