PASADENA (CBSLA) — An apartment fire that left a 4-year-old boy dead and critically injured his mother and 3-year-old brother was caused by an electrical problem with a refrigerator.

(credit: CBS)

Firefighters were sent out at 2 p.m. Wednesday to an apartment in the 100 block of East Washington Boulevard, near North Summit Avenue, Pasadena spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

Crews arrived within three minutes, but a lower-level apartment was already well involved, and flames were spreading to the second floor. The second-alarm fire was declared out by 2:30 p.m., she said.

Keven Arias, who just turned 4 last Friday, died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office. His younger brother, Jordan, and their 29-year-old mother, Nancy, were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

A dog was also killed in the fire.

Derderian said the preliminary cause of the fire was an electrical problem with the refrigerator.

The apartment had three smoke alarms, but were “not sound” when firefighters arrived on scene, and investigators were working to determine if they had batteries in them, Derderian said.

About a dozen people were displaced by the fire and were being assisted by the American Red Cross. Derderian said a chaplain program – which had been newly implemented by the fire department – provided counseling for firefighters, some of whom have young children of their own and became emotional by the boy’s death.


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