A 3-year-old boy who was found unconscious last week in a burning house that was apparently set afire by a Christmas tree died Monday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, a hospital official said.
Lance Johnson died a few minutes before noon in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit, where he was being treated for smoke inhalation, a nursing supervisor said. An official cause of death had not been determined, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
The boy had been in the hospital since Thursday, when firefighters found him in the closet of his Sylmar home, unconscious and not breathing. Firefighters performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the boy in front of the burning house until he was transported to Olive View Medical Center and then flown by helicopter to the Northridge hospital, fire officials said.
The boy's mother, Shawn Johnson, 27, and his brother, Denton, 4, also suffered burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to Holy Cross Medical Center. The mother remains hospitalized for burns on her head, hands and back. Denton has been released.
Fire officials said they believe the fire started when Denton began playing with a candle near the family tree. The boys' mother was able to pull Denton from the burning house but could not get back in to save Lance, fire officials said.