An apparently accidental fire in the kitchen of an Ocean Vista Drive condo caused $500,000 in damage before being contained by Laguna Beach firefighters Thursday, March 15, around 7:30 p.m.
Firefighters encountered a significant blaze in the upper story of the three-level, 34-unit unit complex that overlooks Aliso Beach. They went into action by making their way to the third level and roof to help stop the fire from spreading to adjacent units, said Division Chief Dan Stefano.
Occupants, who were on the lower level, described hearing crackling noises and a smoke alarm. When one went to investigate, he encountered orange flames blowing out of the kitchen. They called 911, grabbed their dog, and fled, Stefano said.
“The initial entry team of firefighters described the interior conditions on the upper floor as having ‘thick dark smoke approaching floor level’ and the heat intensity ‘as hot as they had ever felt.’ Our firefighters did an outstanding job of stopping this fire and confining it to one floor,” Stefano said.
Firefighters were also able to locate and safely remove the occupants’ cat from harm’s way. The American Red Cross responded, assisting the occupants with temporary housing needs.
The fire remains under investigation, Stefano said.