Bynes taken to psychiatric hospital

Last updated 11:30 24/07/2013

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Amanda Bynes' residential fire was more like a "gas bomb", according to neighbours.

The troubled former child star was taken into custody after starting a small fire in someone's driveway in Thousand Oaks, California, before being hospitalised for a mental health evaluation

The blaze appears to be more dangerous than initially reported, as there was apparently gasoline involved.

In 911 phone calls placed about the incident obtained by TMZ, residents reveal to emergency operators that Bynes "put a small piece of cloth on a gasoline tank".

One man felt compelled to alert authorities immediately because he was so concerned about the potential inferno that could have been generated by this makeshift explosive. Although he described the fire as "very small", apparently the flames were "decently close" to the house, burning just 5ft away from the edifice.

Bynes was questioned by attending officers about her behaviour and based on her replies she was placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold.

The 5150 legislation is used to force people into hospital to have their mental state evaluated for up to 72 hours. It is the same law which was used when Britney Spears had her public meltdown.

It is rumoured Bynes' parents, Lynn and Rick, are seeking conservatorship over the actress. According to Radar Online they are "sick with worry" and can no longer stand by and watch their daughter deteriorate.

The fire took place just one day after it is claimed Bynes trespassed at a retirement home on Sunday.

It is thought she was ticketed for the violation.

The former Nickelodeon actress has had several run-ins with the law. In December, she resolved a misdemeanour hit-and-run case after entering into a civil settlement with other drivers.

She was charged with driving on a suspended license after it was temporarily taken away from her following two hit-and-run cases.

She also pleaded not guilty to drunken driving in a separate case.

Earlier this month Bynes appeared in a New York court on allegations that she chucked a marijuana bong out the window of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Bynes was one of the hottest actors on children's TV.

Beginning in 2000, she won four consecutive Kids Choice Awards for best television actress, the first for her role in the ensemble kids comedy-variety show All That, and the others for her starring vehicle The Amanda Show. She also appeared in the films Big Fat Liar and What A Girl Wants.

Bynes, who grew up in Thousand Oaks, also starred in several TV movies before her career began to decline.

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- AP

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