AZUSA ( — A candle and a dry Christmas tree were being blamed Tuesday for sparking a house fire in Azusa, officials said.

Crews arrived around 2:30 a.m. to a fully engulfed home in the 5400 block of N. Clydebank Avenue, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

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The fire started in the living room when a candle accidentally lit the tree on fire. The house was not equipped with smoke detectors and the family was alerted to the fire by holiday decorations.

“We heard the bulbs popping,” said homeowner David Branch. “I remember there being a lot of smoke and we couldn’t see through the house.”

Branch said he kept his Christmas tree up because his 15-year-old son, who has Autism, loves the holiday.

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“He loves going into the living room and just looking at the Christmas tree and honestly, to have such unadulterated joy from his is so rare, so to us, its priceless,” said Courteney Branch.

“We’ve gone through the Christmas season, trees are very dry so don’t take them for granted. We highly recommend getting them out of the house . . . as soon as you can because they are a fire hazard,” Battalion Chief Mike Short said.

The fire took 44 minutes to knock down and the house was deemed a total loss.

No injuries were reported.

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