A New Zealand toddler caused his family's house to burn down -- by playing with a cigarette lighter as if it were a toy car.
The property in Rangitata -- 75 miles (120km) west of Christchurch -- was destroyed but the family escaped after the boy alerted his mother to the flames, news website stuff.co.nz reported Friday.
An investigation found the fire was started after the boy ran the wheel of the lighter along the carpet like a toy car, igniting it as a result.
Timaru fire safety officer Kevin Collins cautioned other parents over the dangers of lighters and said to keep them away from children.
"They see the wheel. Once they see the wheel they think 'Oh, truck' or 'car'. Then you get a few sparks and the wee mind goes, 'What have I found?'" he said.
Despite the mishap, the boy's parents said he also saved their lives -- and that of their baby daughter -- by telling them about the fire, letting them escape in time.
"I put my son into bed and ... about five minutes later, I heard this knock on the door. He was saying, 'Mummy, mummy, fire, fire'," mother Sarah Maynard said.
The fire on Tuesday destroyed all of the things the family had collected over 12 years. But community response has been "overwhelming," said the boy's father Larry Richards, with a number of items already donated.