An unattended candle resulted an apartment blaze that caused more
than $100,000 in damage and left a Burbank firefighter with burns on
his face and hands.
Firefighter Grant Stephens, 32, was taken to the Grossman Burn
Center in Sherman Oaks on Thursday night after he suffered burns in
the blaze that was so hot it melted his helmet. Stephens, who was one
of the first firefighters to go into the burning building, was
released later that night.
The two-alarm blaze began in an apartment complex in the 200 block
of North Kenwood Street shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday. When
firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames inside a
first-floor unit, Fire Marshal Dave Starr said.
With flames climbing outside the building to the second story,
Glendale Fire crews were also sent to the scene. “It was extremely
well-involved, we were very lucky to contain it to the one
apartment,” Starr said, adding that two people lived in the apartment
and were not home when the fire started. A small dog inside the
apartment was killed in the blaze.
Fire crews had the fire contained shortly before 5:30 p.m., Starr
“Had there been a sprinkler system, the fire would have been
better contained,” Starr said.
The apartment where the fire occurred was destroyed, and two
others sustained smoke damage, Starr said. Flames and smoke also
damaged the exterior of the building. The fire caused an estimated
$95,000 in structural damage and $30,000 to building contents, Starr
Residents in the three-building complex were evacuated, but by 6
p.m. many were being allowed back inside. Scott Szeker, who lives in
a top-floor apartment at the complex, said he initially thought there
was simply a faulty fire alarm.
“We looked outside and saw black smoke and then we realized, ‘Oh,
this is real,’” he said.