ONLY ON 3: Woman Says Plumbing Put out House Fire, Saved 5-Month - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Woman Says Plumbing Put out House Fire, Saved 5-Month Old Baby

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WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - A lot of people may burn a candle in the bathroom from time to time but when a 4-year-old does it, things can turn bad.

Walk County Fire officials say a 4-year-old accidentally set a fire in his grandmother's bathroom, Monday night. The bathroom and a toilet played a big role in saving a 5-month-old baby.

"I'm feeling very blessed that we are all alive and well and that we didn't lose our home," said Homeowner Jeanette Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth tells Channel 3 she believes her grandson is alive because the pipes behind her toilet burst open, extinguishing the flames.

"It's what stopped it from going all the way around the wall," said Hollingsworth.

Fire officials say the the 4-year-old started the fire by playing with a burning candle.

"He, I guess, little mastermind saw that T-light candle burning and got a piece of notebook paper, he rolled it up and lit the end of it," said Hollingsworth.

Family members tell Channel 3 the child threw the fire in the bathroom trash can when it grew in his hands. He then left with his grandmother to go to the store, not telling anyone what had happened. In another twist of fate, Hollingsworth says it was a gut feeling that told her she should turn back.

"First I was in shock then I panicked. I mean the room was just black," said Hollingsworth. " I immediately thought about my 5-month-old grandson sleeping in the room. I had just laid him down for a nap."

Fire typically doubles in size with each passing minute, thanks to the burst pipes behind the toilet Hollingsworth says she had just enough time to get her daughter and grand-baby out safely.

"When I think about what could have been I get sick," said Hollingsworth.

The water also helped extinguish the blaze with minimal damage. There'll be no running water until plumbing is fixed. Hollingsworth says she'll take that bill as a blessing.

"I'm going to consider that my Christmas present."

The 5-month-old grandson was checked on the scene, and his lungs are doing great.

Fire officials say candles account for a large number of fires during the holiday season. To be on the safe side you should always keep lit candles out of reach of children and away from any combustible materials.

Walker County Fire Chief Randy Camp tells Channel 3 on average there are more than 9,000 structure fires in the U.S. caused each year by candles. 

In 2011, there were 90 deaths and 870 injures. Firefighters wants us to remind you this holiday season that smoke detectors save lives.

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