By Maria Papadopoulos, Enterprise staff writer
BROCKTON — Lisa Berggren was asleep in her bedroom Monday when she awoke to the cries of her three children and her father, William, that their Sinclair Road home was on fire.
“They just yelled there was a fire, and then we ran out here and everyone's crying and it sucks,” said Berggren, tears streaming down her face as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.
No injuries were reported in the 3:38 p.m. fire that gutted the one-story, ranch-style home at 245 Sinclair Road and displaced two adults and three children.
The fire started in a bedroom with a 5-year-old child who admitted to playing with a lighter, Fire Deputy Chief George Phillips said.
“It just stresses the importance of keeping lighters and matches away from children,” Phillips said.
“It was, like, the lighter you start the gas grill with,” said Berggren, 36, a single mother of three. “We hide it. We hide it. He must have got it and he said he took a piece of paper and lit it, and now I have no house.”
When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the windows and roof and flames coming out of a bedroom window in the rear of the house, Phillips said.
“We were concerned that it had gotten into the attic, so we were pulling the ceilings and chasing it and trying to head it off,” Phillips said. “It did extend a little bit but not a great amount.”
Berggren, a Boston nurse, said she was sleeping before working a night shift at her job when the fire broke out.
“I came down the hallway and there was fire everywhere,” she said.
Neighbors and family members consoled Berggren, whose face was darkened with ash. She stood in the rain Monday wearing a purple robe and clutching a cup of hot cocoa.
Her father, William Berggren, 62, was watching television with two of his grandchildren, ages 6 and 7, when the fire broke out.
“I got up and all I could see was smoke,” he said. “I was trying to get the kids out and then to wake up my daughter. I was so nervous and smoke was in my eyes I couldn't even see the phone.”
Once outside, he ran to a neighbor's house and they called 911.
“My daughter, you know, is worried about the house, but we all got out,” he said, tears welling in his eyes. “If this happened at night, and we were sleeping, we wouldn't be here.”
Phillips cautioned residents about the dangers of having cigarette and other lighters in homes where there are children.
“You have to be very aware of those and account for those and keep them out of the reach of children,” the fire deputy said.
Firefighters extinguished the flames within about 30 minutes, said Phillips, who estimated damages at about $40,000.
Gas and power were turned off to the home, which also made it uninhabitable following the fire.
The fire department's arson investigators responded to the fire call, as did Brockton police.
Firefighters were on scene more than two hours, with the last piece of apparatus clearing at 5:50 p.m.
Crews from Tower 2, Squad A, Ladder 1 and engine companies 2 and 4 responded.