On Monday, March 31, 2008 at 10:17 PM, 6 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 1 EMS Battalion Captain and 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 42 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, joined in Automatic Aid by 1 Company of Los Angeles County Firefighters, all under the direction of Battalion Chief Jerome Boyd, responded to a Civilian Fatality Structure Fire at 1936 West 94th Place in South Los Angeles.
Firefighters arrived quickly to discover flames showing from the front of a one-story 1,327 square-foot single family home. Firefighters aided by skillful vertical ventilation, aggressively attacked the fire with handlines, severely curtailing damage within the structure and extinguishing the flames in just 20 minutes.
During their relentless assault on the fire, Firefighters discovered the lifeless and severely burned body of a 72 year-old man in a front bedroom.
Carrying the large, pulseless and non-breathing male from the smoke-charged home, Firefighters commenced basic life support efforts that were escalated during Paramedic ambulance transport to Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, where the man died shortly after arrival.
The brother of the deceased man and his wife were asleep in a rear bedroom when the fire erupted, and were alerted to the blaze by their dog's incessant barking. The couple and their pet canine safely escaped by exiting the rear of their residence.
No other injuries were reported.
Though the homeowner verbalized the presence of smoke alarm(s), their functional status at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. There were no window security bars or other obvious non-fire factors to impede the dead man's escape from the immaculately kept home. The 64 year-old building was not equipped with fire sprinklers.
In an effort to support the family in their time of need, City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team volunteers were summoned to the scene.
A positive identification of the dead man, as well as the precise cause, time and manner of his death will be determined by the Coroner's Office.
Monetary loss from the fire has been estimated at $400,000 ($250,000 structure & $150,000 contents). The cause of this late night blaze has been determined to be electrical.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department