A 3-year-old boy and his 37-year-old mother were rescued by firefighters Friday morning from a fire in an apartment in Panorama City caused by the “careless and needless” use of a candle inside the unit.

Firefighters responded to the 8800 block of Willis Avenue, between Nordhoff and Parthenia streets, about 2:35 a.m. and discovered heavy fire coming from a unit of the three-story apartment complex, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The woman and child were in the bathroom of a third-floor apartment and firefighters used a 35-foot ladder to go up to a window of the bathroom and rescue the boy, Humphrey said.

When firefighters returned to the bathroom window, the woman could not be found. She was later located by firefighters as they worked to extinguish flames inside the apartment and escorted downstairs to safety, Humphrey said.

Mother and son were taken to a hospital in fair condition, Humphrey said.

It took firefighters 22 minutes to extinguish the flames, which were contained to one unit, he said.

An investigation determined one smoke alarm was in the apartment, but it was non-functional, Humphrey said.

The fire was caused by the “careless and needless” use of a candle to light up the unit, he said.

“There is no need to use a candle to illuminate an apartment,” Humphrey said.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the mother and child in finding a place to stay.

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