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Condo Damaged by Fire Started by 12-Year-Old Smoking in Bed

March 08, 1985

A 12-year-old boy smoking in bed started a fire early Thursday that damaged his family's El Toro condominium.

Capt. Mark Reinhold of the Orange County Fire Department said the youth apparently dropped an ash on his mattress, later noticed a smoldering hole and put it out--or so he thought. More than two hours later, the family's smoke detector awakened the boy, his brother and their mother, all of whom escaped without injury, Reinhold said. The ashes had slowly burned through the bed and finally ignited, Reinhold said.

Firefighters arrived about 1:30 a.m. to find a four-foot layer of smoke hovering throughout the Orange Avenue condominium. The fire was extinguished within five minutes, Reinhold said, and the damage, estimated at $700, was confined to the boy's bedroom.

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