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Four-year-old boy injured in arson fire, investigators say

ATWATER — A 4-year-old boy is recovering from burn wounds after someone threw an incendiary device through a window at his home, investigators from the Atwater Fire Department said Friday.

The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. on Friday at a 1580 First Street residence. Atwater Fire Department Chief Ed Banks said investigators believe the fire is the work of an arsonist and no suspect is currently in custody.

The boy was transported to the burn unit at Children’s Hospital Central California and later released, Banks said. Banks said the boy’s injuries were moderate burns to his face and shoulders.

Banks said an elderly woman was treated for smoke inhalation, although she refused to be taken to the hospital. There were 10 residents living inside the house and the Red Cross has temporarily provided housing accommodations for them, Banks said.

Two engines and five firefighters arrived at the scene, bringing the fire under control within five minutes, Banks said. The structure sustained minor damage and some items in the home’s living room also suffered damage.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Atwater Fire Department at (209) 385-2431 or the Atwater Police Department at (209) 357-6386.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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