Guard Treated After Attempt to Put Out Fire

A security guard suffered from smoke inhalation Wednesday when he tried to extinguish a fire that roared from the bedroom of a four-unit apartment complex in Cypress, causing $32,000 damage, an Orange County Fire Department spokesman said.

The fire was confined to one apartment at 6032 Lemon St., Cypress, and the Fire Department is listing the cause as "incendiary," which means willful destruction of property by fire. The blaze--which emitted smoke that was seen from all three fire stations that responded--is under investigation.

The fire was spotted about 12:30 p.m. by neighbors, who dialed 911, said county Fire Engineer Steve King. The renter, Socorro Grijalva, was not home at the time, he said.

Security guard Joseph Bennett, 18, of Buena Park tried to fight the fire with a garden hose and was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by paramedics, King said. It was unclear whether Bennett was employed at the apartment complex.

The fire started in the bedroom and was contained there, but the rest of the apartment suffered smoke and heat damage, King said. There was $17,000 damage to the structure and $15,000 to contents, he said.

Twenty-one firefighters controlled the blaze in 15 minutes, King said, saving the rest of the building. "They made a good stop," he said.

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