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Firefighter burned in apartment blaze

Ben Godar

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.