Candle blamed for apartment fire

A lit candle left unattended in a Catalina Street apartment bathroom was blamed for a fire that caused $10,000 in damages Friday evening, according to a press statement from the Laguna Beach Fire Dept. No injuries were reported.

The fire department was summoned at 8:33 p.m. to the 2100 block of Catalina Street, where a lower unit in a 20-unit building was in flames. A smoke alarm alerted a neighbor to the blaze, who called 911, said Division Chief Dan Stefano in the press statement. The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters.

The building was evacuated and the American Red Cross of Orange County provided assistance to the occupant of the damaged unit, Stefano stated. Four engines responded, including one Orange County Fire Authority truck.

"A working smoke alarm and an early activation of the 911 system definitely saved this structure from more substantial damage and significantly reduced the risk of casualties to the other tenants," Stefano stated.

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