Fort Worth

Father accused of leaving son alone during Fort Worth apartment fire

The father of a toddler who was left alone in an apartment that caught fire was arrested Tuesday, accused of abandoning the child.

Vincent Van Arsdale, 34, told investigators that he left his 17-month-old son in a bedroom while he drove to his wife’s workplace.

Firefighters forced their way into the apartment and found the boy in a back bedroom under some covers, fire officials said. He was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The parents showed up shortly after firefighters arrived at the Water’s Landing Apartments in the 1000 block of Fringewood Drive.

The fire was reported shortly after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“Firefighters looked into windows and could not see anything,” fire Lt. Kyle Falkner said. “At the door, they opened it a little and smoke came out. They then forced their way into the apartment.”

Once inside, they saw smoke from floor to ceiling, Falkner said.

Food left on a stove started the fire, and firefighters quickly extinguished it, he said. Firefighters looked through the apartment and found the toddler, who began crying. No one else was there, Falkner said.

Officials with Child Protective Services and detectives with the Fort Worth Police Department’s crimes against children unit are investigating.

Van Arsdale faces charges of abandoning/endangering a child and marijuana possession, police said. He also had eight outstanding warrants.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr