GERMAN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A family lost everything Friday morning when fire tore through their Fayette County home.

Smoke and flames poured out of the peak of the roof of the home on Magee Street in German Township.

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Family members say a 4-year-old boy may have been playing with a lighter under the bed and caught the mattress on fire.

Firefighters with the Ronco Fire Department elevated themselves to the porch and first floor roofs, trying to get closer to the fire, but they say it was a losing proposition.

“Whenever we got on scene, it was fully involved. The house was basically a total loss. There was nothing we could do about it,” said Chief Nick Easter, of the Ronco Volunteer Fire Department.

Ten people lived in the house, five adults and five children.

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According to family members, the 4-year-old boy was caught several days ago playing with another lighter near a blanket.

He got in trouble, and all the lighters were hidden from him, but apparently he found another one today, this time, with devastating results.

“The American Red Cross is going to come out and help the family,” said Chief Easter. “They lost all of their stuff, like I said, it was fully involved when we got here.”

The fire chief says the old construction and the age of the home made their efforts futile.

“This was a balloon-framed house. Whenever a small fire happens, they usually turn out to be a fully-involved house,” he said. “These houses were built in the 1800s, they’re pretty old.”

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