LAFD Battles North Hills Structure Fire that Claims Man's Life

Thursday, August 08, 2013 |

NORTH HILLS WEST - Los Angeles Firefighters battled a fully involved house fire that claimed the life of one occupant and a pet dog on August 8, 2013.

LAFD Fights Fatal Structure Fire in North HillsJust after 9:00 pm the Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned to a Structure Fire at 16336 Plummer Street, and while en-route they could see a large plume of smoke rising. They arrived on scene to find a one-story Single Family Dwelling fully involved in fire with flames blowing out of the front windows. Additional companies were immediately requested.

Fire attack teams entered the inferno through the front door and performed fire suppression and rescue efforts through the 1,344 square-foot home. Additional firefighters cut ventilation holes in the roof to release super heated gases. Much of the ceiling, which was tongue and groove without attic space above, burned through. A trailer and motor home in the backyard were damaged by the flames and a neighboring house to the west was exposed to flame and heat. Firefighters faced additional concerns of downed live power lines that could be seen arcing in the rear of the structure. DWP was requested to assist.

During the conclusion of fire attack, firefighters discovered the remains of an adult male significantly burned in the dining room of the structure. Beyond medical help, he was declared deceased at the scene. A pet dog was also found beyond help in the master bedroom. No other injuries were reported.

A well coordinated attack by a total of 52 firefighters, all under the command of Battalion Chief Brian Schultz, fully extinguished the flames in just 23 minutes.

It was not readily known if the home was fitted with functional smoke alarms. There were no security doors or window security bars to impede the man's egress. However, the home was described as pack rat conditions due to excessive storage inside. The 58-year old dwelling was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.

A positive identification of the deceased man to include his age, as well as the cause, time and manner of his death, will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

Monetary loss from the fire is estimated at $300,000 ($250,000 structure and $50,000 contents). The cause of the evening blaze remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Section.


Dispatched Units: E287 T87 E290 E90 T90 E275 T75 RA75 E7 RA70 EM15 BC12 BC10 E70 E103 E298 T98 AR2 AR7 AR23
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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