MOUNT WASHINGTON - The body of an elderly man was found inside a burnt hillside home Friday night in northeast Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 9:48 PM on February 21, 2014 to 533 West Avenue 44 in Mount Washington. LAFD crews navigated steep and narrow streets to find a one story 625 square-foot residence and garage fully involved.
With fire fueled by the home's excess personal storage bringing a threat to volatile brush and nearby buildings, a pair of Fire Department helicopters were swiftly deployed for command support, aerial reconnaissance and ember patrol.
Despite intense fire that led to structural compromise, including a collapsed roof, the team of forty-eight ground-based firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Phillip Fligiel confined the inferno to the property of origin, extinguishing the flames in just 40 minutes. With the flames abated, firefighters methodically searched the heavily damaged home to discover human remains, believed to be those of an elderly male resident.
No other injuries were reported.
Due to severe fire damage, the presence of smoke alarms and their functional status at the time of the fire could not be immediately determined. The 84 year-old home was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
A positive identification of the dead man, 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 still being tabulated. Though the cause of the blaze remains undetermined, Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators have stated there are no suspicious circumstances associated with the fire.
Dispatched Units: E44 RA844 E201 T1 E212 T12 E55 RA246 EM13 BC1 BC11 E9 E12 H0F H3 E90 AR1 AR7 AR23 AR17Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department