Firefighters forced entry through the front metal security door with rotary saws and mounted a bold interior offense with hose lines. Additional firefighters on the roof cut holes with chainsaws over the seat of the fire to allow the thick smoke, heat and gases to escape, greatly improving visibility inside. During a systematic search of the small residence, a 98 year-old female was found inside near the entrance laying unconscious. She was rapidly taken outside to Firefighter/Paramedics standing by who rendered immediate medical aid and transported her to a local hospital in grave condition. Sadly, she was pronounced dead at that medical facility.
Due to a well coordinated and aggressive attack, over 50 firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Roy Harvey, fully extinguished the fire in just 18 minutes.
In examining the fire's aftermath, a smoke alarm was located inside, however its functional status was not immediately able to be determined. First arriving responders and neighbors did not hear any audible alarms. There were security bars on the windows with quick release mechanisms, except for the window in the room where 98 year-old woman was found. The house was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers.
The cause of the fire was from a floor furnace. The estimated monetary loss is being tabulated.
This is the eighth residential fire civilian fatality in Los Angeles over the past six weeks.
Firefighters are canvassing the neighborhood around today's fire and are handing out free smoke alarms to residents. Free smoke alarms are also available at LAFD Fire Station 46 located at 4370 South Hoover Street Los Angeles CA 90037.
Home fires can happen at any time, and most occur at night when we are least prepared. It is imperative to have functional smoke alarms. Families must make an escape plan and be familiar with how to evacuate during an emergency.