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Fire torches apartment

Jackson Bell

A flammable item placed next to a stove was blamed for a two-alarm

fire that caused about $300,000 in damage to an apartment complex and

killed a cat, authorities said.


The fire started about 6 a.m. Wednesday in the building in the 200

block of West Verdugo Avenue. Burbank firefighters, assisted by

Glendale and Pasadena personnel, knocked down the flames in about 30

minutes, Burbank Fire Capt. Ron Bell said.


No one was injured, but one apartment unit was gutted by the

blaze. Three adjacent units were damaged by smoke and water,

resulting in about $250,000 in structural damage and nearly $50,000

in content damage, Bell said.

“It was a very hot fire and firefighters couldn’t see their hands

in front of their face because of the smoke,” he said. "[The

apartment unit] was a total loss right down to the walls.”

Residents of the 40-unit building were evacuated safely, and the


Red Cross assisted families displaced by the fire.

The rear of the building was equipped with a sprinkler system, but

the front portion, where the fire broke out, was not, Bell said,

adding that the building was not in violation of any fire codes and

was recently inspected.

Tenants of the damaged units owned three cats, one of which was

found dead. Another cat was taken to the Magnolia Veterinary Clinic

and is expected to recover, while a third feline is missing, Bell