Orange County

Holiday tree cause of $550k fire?

A DRY CHRISTMAS tree is blamed for a fire that did an estimate $550,000 in damage at a house in La Palma (OCFA photo).

A too-dry Christmas tree is the likely cause of a fire that did an estimated $550,000 in damage early Monday morning to a home in La Palma.

According to the Orange County Fire Authority, the blaze was reported around 2 a.m. at the residence in the 7700 block of Laurelwood Lane.

A resident was awakened by a smoke alarm and found his Christmas tree was engulfed in flame, a fire that quickly spread to the rest of the house. He and his dog were able to flee, but the dog turned back. He ran after the dog and got it to safety by climbing out a window. The man and dog were unharmed.

The OCFA estimates the damage to the structure to be $400,000 and $150,000 to contents. Firefighters recommend that homeowners have working fire alarms, remove their natural Christmas trees and have an exit plan, taking care to stay outside, once they are outside.

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