South Bay : 2 Children Slightly Hurt as Tree Ignites


Two youngsters who were trying to give their mother a pleasant surprise by taking down a Christmas tree were slightly injured Wednesday when a tree light sparked and ignited the tree.

Egan Anderson, 13, and his sister Alison Anderson, 12, who both suffered smoke inhalation and had their hair singed, were treated and released from Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance.

The living room of their Malaga Cove apartment in Palos Verdes Estates was badly damaged and all of their Christmas gifts--ski equipment that had been left under the tree--were destroyed.


Their mother, Linda Baldwin, said her children had missed their school bus and decided to make her proud of them by doing some work around the house.

The fire started when Egan turned on the Christmas tree’s lights to make it easier for him to see the cord as he unwrapped it from the tree. One of the lights sparked, and the dry tree went up in flames. While his sister ran to the neighbors for help, Egan tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher; when the extinguisher ran out, he tried to use a garden hose.

Neighbors persuaded him to leave the apartment and Los Angeles County Fire Department crews from the nearby Malaga Cove station arrived shortly afterward and quickly put out the flames.

“They wanted to make me proud of them for cleaning up the house, but I’m proud of them, the way they acted,” Baldwin said.