Insurance company sues teen babysitter for child setting fire to home

EDMONTON — An insurance company is suing a 15-year-old Alberta girl after the child she was babysitting set fire to his home.

EDMONTON — An insurance company is suing a 15-year-old Alberta girl after the child she was babysitting set fire to his home.

In July 2007, Aaliyah Braybrook, then 12, was hired to watch a five-year-old boy and his three-year-old sibling at their home in Clairmont, Alta., about 500 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Court documents allege the boy found a lighter and set fire to the home while the girl was babysitting.

The fire spread to the home next door, owned by the boy’s grandparents.

The insurance company for the boy’s grandparents has launched the suit.

Its statement of claim alleges Aaliyah acted without proper training, failed to supervise the young boy, and failed to call for help in a “timely fashion”, thereby allowing the fire to spread next door.

But Ray Braybrook said his daughter took babysitting courses and was well prepared to look after children.

“She’s pretty angry that they would be trying to blame … like she feels like she’s being blamed for this, and like the fire department and everybody at the time called her a hero for getting those kids out, and basically she saved their lives,” Braybrook told CBC.

Douglas Mills, the father’s boy, is also being sued.

Court documents allege Mills left a lighter where his son could reach it, and hired a babysitter who was too young or inexperienced to supervise his child.

The lawsuit also claims Mills failed to teach his son the dangers of playing with lighters and failed to explain to the babysitter the “importance of calling 911 immediately.”

Aaliyah and Mills have 15 days to file a statement of defence in the case.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.