WARNINGS over the dangers of leaving safety matches and lighters out have been issued after part of a family home was burned down by a five-year-old.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service issued the warning after a family-of-three were made 'homeless' following the blaze in their home during the Easter break.

On Wednesday, April 17 at around 10.20am the fire brigade were called to reports of a terrace home that was ablaze.

29-year-old mother-of-two Rebecca Young and her children, George, five and Olivia, eight, were in the property in Stillington, North Yorkshire when the fire broke out in her son's bedroom.

The Northern Echo:

DAMAGE: More than £4,000 of contents has been damaged

Ms Young said: “My eight-year-old daughter shouted that there was a fire, and I ran upstairs.

“At that point I had to go in and grab my five-year-old out of the room because he was by the fire."

Within minutes a smouldering match had caused a fire to grow and take hold of the top floor of the home.

Ms Young said she rushed outside to contact the fire brigade, who took around ten minutes to arrive.

As the fire burned, clothes, toys and electrical equipment were damaged.

Ms Young said the sheer amount of water needed to extinguish the flames meant the electrics in her home had been condemned.

A couple of days later, and upon returning to the home with insurers, she said: "The insurance firm have written everything off upstairs that was in the house. It was the top floor – we are finding that some of the stuff downstairs is salvageable but around £4,000 of our stuff is damaged.”

She said: “All we had left was the clothes we were wearing at the time of fire.”

An investigation revealed the cause of the fire was purely 'accidental' following the use of a safety match that had got into the wrong hands.

Ms Young said: "My five-year-old started the fire accidentally, he found a box of matches and got curious – at the end of the day children are inquisitive little beings, it’s not their fault.

"Make sure you put any fire-starting things out of the way.”

The Northern Echo:

SALTBURN: The family have had to temporarily relocate more than 40 miles away

Since the home was devastated by the fire, the family have had to live with Ms Young's mother over 40 miles away in Saltburn.

Ms Young said: "We don't know how long repairs will take.

“The kids haven’t been able to go back to school as we’re all staying here – there have been a lot of emotions over the past week, they are young and trying to understand it. School have been understanding, they are arranging for work to be sent to them.

“We are now classed as homeless – at the moment it is unknown how long it will be until we are allowed back.”

She added: “The main thing is that myself and the children got out with no injury and that everything can be replaced.”

Nick Bullamore, station manager at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We would remind all parents to keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

"If you’re worried that your child is playing with fire you can make referral to the fire service and our trained advisors can provide support.

"To make a referral freephone 0800 074 0064 or email safeguarding@northyorksfire.gov.uk.”

Ms Young thanked members of her community and businesses for their donations in the aftermath the fire.