A single mother’s minivan was intentionally set ablaze early Thursday morning as it sat parked in her Chatsworth driveway, authorities said.
Karen Siegel’s dog, Rex, woke the family and provided the first clue something was wrong when he started barking at 4 a.m. When the mother of two looked out the kitchen window, she saw an orange glow.
Siegel’s teenage son, Ben, said when he and his mother went outside, they could see the fire was higher than the house. He grabbed a garden hose and kept the fire from igniting the nearby garage. though it was scorched and weatherstripping around the overhead door melted. It took the arrival of firefighters to extinguish the blaze, which Siegel likened to a "torch" coming from beneath the front of the Honda Odyssey.
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Investigators deemed the fire arson based, in part, on evidence they found underneath the minivan.
Whoever set the early morning fire was not deterred by motion sensor floodlights that light up the driveway, nor by the security camera, which--as it turned out-- was not recording at the time.
Arson investigators have not identified a suspect--nor disclosed a motive.
Siegel said she and her children have found it difficult to sleep since the arsonist struck.