Here’s what happened:
Monaco’s Sherman Oaks Home Was Severely Damaged
TMZ first reported the news that longtime “General Hospital” star Kelly Monaco’s Los Angeles-area home had caught on fire on Friday, May 13 after someone tossed a lit cigarette into an empty lot next to her house, the investigators told TMZ.
Monaco’s home will not be livable for quite some time, as it sustained severe damage. In the security footage that Kelly gave to the police and fire investigators, it shows a person flicking a cigarette butt into the lot next door and the fire started “within seconds,” Kelly’s mother Carmina Monaco told People.
The investigation is ongoing, according to People, but TMZ reports that the arson investigators do not believe the fire was started intentionally.
In TMZ’s video from the scene, Kelly can be seen standing in the smoke, saying, “My house is on fire,” then in the clip from the security footage, she can be heard saying, “This is how it started, isn’t this crazy?” as the blaze erupts in the dry grass.
Kelly’s Mother Said ‘The Most Important Thing … Got Out’ & That Was Kelly
Speaking to People, Carmina said that Kelly awoke Friday morning to find her house ablaze, but luckily, she was able to escape unharmed. Carmina said that Kelly heard “what sounded like hail,” which turned out to be the crackling of the fire.
“She immediately picked up the phone to call 911, but the fire department was already there and had been trying to contact her to get through the gate,” said Carmina, adding that the “most important thing that had to get out of that house that night got out of that house that night, and it was her.”
“Everything else, they’re just things; they can be replaced,” said Carmina, adding that Kelly had some “small irritation in her lungs from the smoke.”
“I keep saying, we had a good day on [Friday] the 13th. Everyone is safe and okay. It could have been a bad day. She could have been hurt,” said Kelly’s mother.
Carmina also said that the actress has been staying in an Airbnb because one whole side of her house is “completely charred and destroyed.”
Kelly herself gave a brief statement about the fire to TMZ, saying, “Something as little as a cigarette butt can cause casualties and devastation.”
The soap opera star was the first Mirrorball champion on “Dancing With the Stars,” winning season one with her partner Alec Mazo. She returned for the all-star season in season 15, finishing in third place with her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. She also came back for one week in season 25 where the show implemented the trio dance that it sometimes has, but instead of using an extra professional dancer, they invited back six past finalists — Kelly, Rashad Jennings, Laurie Hernandez, Kristi Yamaguchi, Alfonso Ribeiro and Corbin Bleu.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.