VAN NUYS — An apartment blaze that spread to an upper floor when a parked van caught fire caused $65,000 damage Sunday evening and sent a 2 1/2-month-old boy to the hospital, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.
The blaze broke out at 5:19 p.m. at the three-story complex in the 6600 block of Sylmar Avenue. It took about 70 firefighters half an hour to extinguish the flames, according to spokesman Jim Wells.
Investigators said the fire was sparked by an electrical short in a first-floor apartment and quickly spread to the second story when a van parked nearby outside also caught fire, Wells said.
"The van parked up against the building to prevent people from breaking into the vehicle," he said
The baby boy was taken to Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Mission Hills as a precaution after smoke from the blaze aggravated his asthmatic condition.
Despite the ill effects of the fire, there was one happy ending. A little girl, despondent because she thought her cat had been lost in the blaze, was reunited with the feline when firefighters later found it unharmed.