A STE MADELEINE four-bedroom house was destroyed by fire on Friday after a seven-year-old boy played with a cigarette lighter on the premises.
The father of the boy and owner of the house, Alan Maloney, of Manahambre Road, said he left his son alone at home to go on a job.
Maloney said: "Teachers were on strike and he did not go to school. Parents, this is a lesson. Never leave children at home alone."
Fire broke out at the concrete and wooden house around 2.30 p.m.
Neighbour Nyron Hamid said: "I went with a hose, and the other neighbours formed a bucket brigade to out the fire. But the flames and the heat were too much. We couldn't go close to the house, we couldn't save anything."
Fire tenders from the Mon Repos Fire Station arrived at the scene and extinguished the blaze.
Maloney, a refrigerator and stove repairman, said he went to Hope Road, Princes Town, on a job.
He said the child told him he was playing with a lighter under the house, and papers caught afire. When the flames grew, the boy ran to a neighbour's house.
Maloney said his son's schoolbooks, uniforms, toys, and personal items were destroyed. The child is a Standard Two pupil of the Ste Madeleine Government Primary School.
"My son already got some Christmas presents and everything burned up. He is very upset about that," Maloney said.
He said he is seeking the public's assistance and he can be contacted at 340-4800.