Electrical Overload Sparks Christmas Tree Fire at Westlake Home

The fire was caused by an electrical overload that ignited the tree

A Christmas tree caught fire Wednesday night at a single- family home in the Westlake district, causing a non-life-threatening burn injury to a 14-year-old girl.

The fire was reported about 7:35 p.m. in the 300 block of North Alvarado Street, near MacArthur Park, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The destructive fire left a mother and her five children without their home for the holidays.

Forty firefighters responded and knocked down the blaze in 10 minutes, Stewart said. The fire was caused by an electrical overload from a power strip.

"That was right next to all the Christmas presents and the Christmas tree," Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Pham said. 

Once the blaze was doused, LAFD firefighters gave the family's two youngest children gifts since their holiday presents were consumed in the fire.

"It's always sad to see kids without a home, especially during the holidays now without presents," Pham said. "They wanted to make sure the kids had something and they were able to get some toys for the kids. That's the least we could do.

The injured teenage girl was taken to a hospital, Stewart said.

The Red Cross was called to assist an undisclosed number of displaced residents and the fire department was supplying the victims with a $100 Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergencies card to help with immediate needs, Stewart said. The organization gave the family a place to stay.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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