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Lake Forest Family Displaced by House Fire

Fire crews quickly tackled a blaze on Larkwood Lane, but the damage displaced a mother and three children.

A Lake Forest family will have to remodel their kitchen, but that's getting off lightly after a fire ignited Tuesday afternoon on Lakewood Lane.

No one was hurt and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the single-alarm blaze across from El Toro Park.

"Had we not gotten here and extinguished it, it could have been a catastrophe," said Capt. Justin Neville of Orange County Fire Authority Station 22 in Laguna Hills. 

According to Neville, a plastic colander in the broiler tray turned out to be the culprit. The lesson?

"When you're dealing with appliances, make sure you have a full understanding of how they work," he said. "Don't use a broiler tray for storage."

But the captain also said the residents benefited "from having a functioning smoke detector."

The detector went off at the same time the fire was smelled by someone in the residence; after alerting other occupants and attempting to extinguish the fire with a wet towel, the occupant called 9-1-1 and waited outside.

Firefighters knocked down the blaze in about 10 minutes and prevented further damage to the structure, outside of drywall and cabinets, according to Neville.

The fire spread quickly from the gas stove to the rest of the kitchen. The damage displaced a local family, said Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Marc Stone. The fire damage left the home uninhabitable.

The Orange County Fire Authority got the call just before 12:30 p.m. at the 23800 block of Larkwood Lane.

One adult and three children lived at the home. The incident began when a woman got a call at work from her 17-year-old with the news that the kitchen was on fire, said Stone. It was unclear how many people were in the house at the time.

The American Red Cross also came to the family’s aid.

“They are fantastic to, at least, give them some vouchers for a couple days in a hotel,” said Stone. “Some people have family around who can help, but some people don’t have that.”

The local chapter of the American Red Cross accepts donations here.

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