WINNETKA - A fire in a detached garage in Winnetka claims the life of a 61 year-old man.
Los Angeles firefighters received multiple 9-1-1 calls just after 4:00 AM on January 20, 2014 for a structure fire at 7971 Sunnybrae Avenue. They arrived on scene to find the garage of a one-story home well involved in flames.
Firefighters forced entry and mounted a bold interior offense with hose lines, and cut holes with chainsaws on the roof to allow the thick smoke, heat and gases to escape, greatly improving visibility inside. During a systematic search of the charred garage, sadly an adult male was found beyond medical help and was determined dead.
Due to a well coordinated and aggressive attack, over 30 firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Kevin Pearson, fully extinguished the fire in just 17 minutes and stopped the blaze from entering the home where an elderly couple were fast asleep.
In examining the fire's aftermath, there was no immediate evidence of a functional smoke alarm within the garage. There was one door as an exit and excessive storage inside. No security door or window bars were present to impede egress. The garage was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers. Determination if the garage was used as a sleeping quarters is under investigation. The City's Department of Building and Safety was notified.
The fire cause is under active investigation by skilled LAFD Arson Investigators. The monetary loss is estimated at $30,000 ($20,000 structure and $10,000 contents). Firefighters saved approximately $400,000 dollars and possibly two lives.
Dispatched Units: E104 RA104 E72 RA72 E273 T73 E296 T96 E103 EM17 BC17 BC15 E84 AR2 AR1 AR7Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department