Two Found Dead In Residential Structure Fire

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 |

On Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 5:59 AM, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three Arson Units, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief John Nowell responded to a Structure Fire With Civilian Fatalities at 10441 N. Danube Ave. in Mission Hills.

Los Angeles Police Officers patrolling the neighborhood discovered heavy smoke emitting from a single-story, single-family residence. The Police Officers immediately requested Fire Department resources and kicked in the front door in an effort to notify any occupants within the home. Due to immense heat, the Officers were unable to enter the home. The Officers then opened the garage door and immediately had a large dog bolt past them to safety. Unfortunately, three puppies had already perished in the smoke laden area.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find a large volume of fire blowing out of the rear of the house. As Firefighters, fully clad in their Personal Protective Equipment, made entry to the inside of the structure, fellow firefighters ascended to the roof to conduct vertical ventilation operations. Firefighters on the roof, upon cutting a ventilation hole, reported heavy fire in the attic.

It took 40 Firefighters just 20 minutes to knock down the fire and control the incident. The bulk of the fire was contained to the room of origin and the attic above. During the Search and Rescue phase of this incident, the charred remains of two individuals were discovered. Due to the condition of the bodies there was no identification or indication as to age or gender.

The cause of the fire as well as the circumstances surrounding the fatalities remains under investigation by the LAPD, LAFD Arson investigators, and the L.A. Coroner's office. The loss is estimated at $225,000 ($200,000 Structure & $25,000 Contents).

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


Ruben said...

bullsh*t. I knew one of the two "unidentifiable bodies". She, Renee Maria Spata, was a great friend and at only the age of 19. the person Marvin Tobar, 21, I heard was a great individual. R.I.P both of them.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Kindly accept our condolences at the loss of your friends.

Please know that no disrespect was meant, but at the time the pair were found charred and declared dead by Firefighters (and this blog post was written), their age, gender and identity could in no way be determined.

Once we were sadly certain that they were beyond medical help, we covered them and saw that they were treated with the utmost of dignity and respect.

It was not until their arrival at the Coroner's Office later that day that their age, gender and identity - as well as the cause, time and manner of their death could be determined.

Please know that this blog post was filed prior to the post-mortem exam, and has not been formally updated since that time.

As such, the information offered here reflects what was known at the time of the Fire Department's response.

Ruben, if you'd like to speak with someone about our response that morning, please call our Battalion 12 office and ask for Chief Nowell, who was in charge of all LAFD responders. I know that he will be eager to assist you in any way possible.

Please take care Ruben, and be safe.

Respectfully Your in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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