Candle ignites Christmas tree, sending fire through Azusa home

Family members look at the charred remains of their home in Azusa after a fire early Tuesday morning.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

An Azusa family was displaced early Tuesday after a Christmas tree was ignited by a candle and spread a fire that ravaged their home, officials said.

Los Angeles County fire officials said the fire started about 2:20 a.m. in the 5400 block of North Clydebank Avenue.

They arrived to find the two-story home engulfed in flames, displacing four people and the family dog. No one was injured.


A fire official told reporters at the scene the fire was started by a candle near the tree.

David Branch, 50, said he and his family were in the back portion of their 3,000-square-foot home when the fire broke out. He was lying in bed with his autistic son, who has trouble sleeping, when he heard a popping sound.

“I don’t think we were afraid,” he said. “We were more in shock.”

Branch has owned the home for 30 years and was working on it so it could eventually become a respite-care facility.

“I will definitely rebuild my house,” he said.

This is at least the second time in less than a week that a fire fueled by a Christmas tree has destroyed a Southern California home.

A home in North Hollywood was destroyed Jan. 6 and three firefighters injured in a fire sparked by an old, brittle Christmas tree, fire officials said.

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