A 3-year-old boy was left unattended Tuesday morning in a minivan that caught fire outside of his day care in Northeast Washington, authorities said.

The boy did not suffer any burns but was taken to a hospital for "symptoms related to smoke inhalation," according to Doug Buchanan, a D.C. Fire Department spokesman.

The incident began just before 8 a.m., when someone called 911 to report a van on fire in the 5100 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE.

When fire crews arrived, they found the minivan on fire, with the blaze appearing to be coming from the engine, officials said. As firefighters put out the fire, one of them either saw or heard the child in the third row of the vehicle, Buchanan said.

The child was alone in the van at the time, and Buchanan said an initial investigation shows that workers at the day care may not have realized that the boy was still in the vehicle.

"There may have been an accountability issue or a thought that all the kids had gotten out," Buchanan said.

He said the van had dropped off four or five children at the day care and the boy was supposed to be among those going into the center.

This story has been updated.