Fire in South L.A. Auto Repair Business Claims Life

Sunday, June 16, 2013 |

SOUTH LOS ANGELES - A fire in an automotive repair firm proved deadly to a man early Sunday morning, when he was unable to escape his makeshift living space inside the business, as flames fed on the dense storage within.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 1:36 AM on June 16, 2013 by a 9-1-1 call from a passerby who noted smoke pouring from the 45' x 20' one-story building at 8002 South San Pedro Street.


You can click, grab and zoom the pre-fire image above - or view larger

LAFD crews arrived quickly to find fire showing from the well-secured 900 square foot building. Forcing entry through metal security doors to battle flames fed by pack-rat conditions amid thick floor-to-ceiling smoke, firefighters promptly encountered the body of a man just inside the front doorway.


The pulseless and non-breathing adult male was swiftly carried from the burning building by firefighters, who soon determined he was beyond medical help, and declared him dead at the scene.

It took 30 Los Angeles Firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Anthony Matthews, just thirteen minutes to fully extinguish the flames. No other injuries were reported.

The commercial building, within which a small area had been converted to living space, contained excessive storage and was not equipped with smoke alarms or fire sprinklers. The front security door included a double-cylinder (key required on both sides) deadbolt lock. Such locks are known to impair egress in the event of a fire, and are not locally permitted in residential settings.

A positive identification of the dead man, as well as the specific cause, time and manner of his death, will be determined the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

Monetary loss from the fire is still being tabulated, while the cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.
Dispatched Units: RA833 RA33 E264 E64 T64 E21 EM13 BC13 E46 T33 E233 AR1 DC1
[ photos ]

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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