3 children, 2 adults hospitalized after fire erupts at Walnut Park home

WALNUT PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- At least five people were injured when a fire erupted early Friday morning at a Walnut Park house that is home to 31 people, authorities said.

Two adults and twenty children were inside the residence in the 3000 block of Hope Street when they were awakened by smoke alarms shortly after 2 a.m. Firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the flames within 10 minutes, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Five people were transported to hospitals, including an 11-year-old boy who suffered second-degree burns to his face. His mother and two toddler siblings sustained smoke inhalation that was described as minor.

The cause of the incident was determined to be candles that were left burning in the dining room area.

"I heard them screaming, so I came outside and I started seeing the smoke on the side of their living room," said Maritza Rodriguez, who was praised by fellow neighbors for her actions. "I ran to the front, got the water hose and screamed to my mom ... and my kids to call 911."

The significantly damaged house was red-tagged after the fire.

A GoFundMe page was created
to help the displaced family, which was also receiving assistance from Red Cross officials.
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