Brother and sister killed in El Monte house fire identified


EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials have identified two siblings killed in a fire at their El Monte home a month ago.
Margarita Dennis, 73, died a hospital following the fire, which was first reported shortly after 10 p.m. Nov. 5 at a home in the 12300 block of Felipe Street, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Her brother, 61-year-old David Gutierrez, died at the scene, coroner’s officials said.
Their officials identifications were delayed due to the condition of the remains, as well as efforts to notify family members.
An autopsy determined Dennis died from smoke inhalation and burns, and the death was ruled accidental, coroner’s officials said. Gutierrez’s cause of death was yet to be determined pending the results of forensic tests.
The siblings lived at the home with another brother, who escaped the fire unharmed, officials said.
The house was destroyed by the fire, which firefighters extinguished 21 minutes after being summoned to the scene.
Handling detectives at the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Bureau could not be reached for comment Wednesday. The cause of the fire was unavailable.

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UPDATED: Two burned in large Pasadena garage fire


PASADENA >> A fire erupted in a Pasadena garage Friday, burning two people and spreading to a second nearby garage, authorities said.
The fire broke out about 2:50 p.m. in a residential garage in the 1200 block of North Hill Avenue, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Firefighters declared a “second alarm” as the flames quickly grew, spreading to an adjacent garage on Wesley Avenue just to the east, spewing thick smoke into the air.
A man and woman in their 50s were treated for burn injuries, Derderian said.
Paramedics hospitalized the man in serious condition,while the woman suffered apparently minor injuries, Derderian said.
Joshua Manson was driving home from work down Hill and happened to glance towards the house on his left and saw smoke. He backed up and saw fire from the structure of the back of a house.
CUNj9kaUAAAHdnTHe said he saw an elderly man walking away from the burning garage with burns on his hands and his hair. The elderly man wanted to go back in the structure.
“We were trying to get him to come out because he was trying to go back,” Manson said. “After that we searched (the house) and there was on elderly lady in there.”
Manson said he and other good Samaritans made sure there was no one else in the structure.
A neighbor, described as a man in his 60s, suffered a shoulder injury while trying to help, Derderian said.
The cause of the initial garage fire remained under investigation, she said. It appeared the first fire may have caused power lines to fall, sparking the second garage to catch fire.
The Hill Avenue garage appeared destroyed by the fire, while the garage on Wesley Avenue sustained “significant” damage, Derderian said

  • Brian Day and Claudia Palma

PHOTOS courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department.

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One dead, one critically injured in El Monte house fire

EL MONTE >> A house fire in El Monte left one person dead and another critically injured late Thursday, authorities said.
The fire ignited just after 10 p.m. at a single-story house in the 12300 block of Felipe Street, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said.
Firefighters found the home “fully involved” with flames on arrival, he said.
Two people were pulled from the burning home, officials said.
Paramedics pronounced one patient dead at the scene, Sanford said. No description of the victim was available.
A second victim, described as an elderly woman, was pulled from the home in “full arrest,” Sanford said. Paramedics rushed her to a hospital for treatment.
Firefighter encountered a third person at the home, though that person did not appear to be injured, Sanford said.
Officials declared the fire extinguished 23 minutes after it was first reported.

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‘Roxy’ the dog rescued from smoke-filled Altadena home


ALTADENA >> Deputies rushed into a smoke-filled house Thursday and rescued an 8-year-old dog trapped inside, officials said.
Los Angeles County firefighters and deputies responded to reports of a fire shortly after 2 p.m. at a home in the 600 block of East Sacramento Street. Deputies arrived first.
“When we got there, smoke was showing, coming out of the doorways and the roof area,” sheriff’s Sgt. Kim Shelton said.
“Deputies were able to make entry,” she said. Officials did not know at the time whether any victims, human or otherwise, were trapped in the smoke-filled house.
The deputies found no people inside, but encountered “Roxy,” an 8-year-old dog, Shelton said. They removed Roxy, who was very eager to get out, from the home safely. The dog was uninjured.
A resident of the home arrived a short time later, Shelton said. He was grateful that Roxy was OK.
1106_NWS_PSN-L-DOGFIRE2Authorities determined a blanket strewn across the floor grate of a heating unit had begun melting, charging the home with smoke, Shelton said.
Officials arrived before the smoldering blanket spread to the structure itself.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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UPDATED: Fire guts Covina warehouse; marijuana found growing inside


COVINA >> A fire erupted in a Covina warehouse early Saturday, where first-responders discovered marijuana plants growing inside, officials said.
Firefighters responded about 8:31 a.m. to reports of a fire in a commercial building in the 1000 block of East Edna Place, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
• Video: Firefighters work to put out a Covina warehouse fire
The first firefighters to arrive called for backup to combat the flames in the 100-foot by 200-foot structure, Simms said. About 75 firefighters in all attacked the blaze.
• Photos: Covina warehouse fire
Firefighters “knocked down” the fire just over two hours after it began, officials said.
Two firefighters suffered minor medical issues while fighting the fire, Inspector Randall Wright said.
The building was subdivided into two units, Covina police Sgt. Ryan Davis said.
Once the fire was out, officials discovered that one of the units was being used to grow marijuana, he said.
It was unclear how much marijuana was being grown, as police had yet to enter the building Saturday afternoon due to concerns over structural instability, the sergeant said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. It was unclear whether the marijuana-growing operation played a role in lighting the fire.

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.


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UPDATED: Large fire scorches commercial building in Azusa


AZUSA >> A fire tore through a commercial building in Azusa Friday night, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 7 p.m. in the 500 block of South Vincent Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
“Our first-in engine company had smoke and fire coming in through the roof,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said. “Very quickly, we asked for a second alarm,” bringing additional firefighters to the scene.
Portions of the roof of the building collapsed, he said.
They took a “defensive” stance from the outside of the building as they continued dousing the flames with water more than an hour later, fire Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said.
1024_NWS_SGT-L-AZFIRE1The fire was fueled by a large amount of paper stored inside the building, described as a paper manufacturing business, Wright said. There were no reports of hazardous materials involved.
Firefighters positioned on ladders well above the fire pumped 3,000 gallons of water per minute onto the burning building, officials said.
Authorities declared the fire extinguished about 8:15 p.m., but expected firefighters to remain on scene well into the night, Wright said.
Paramedics treated one person who suffered minor smoke inhalation injuries, but the person declined to be taken to a hospital, Sandford said.
Azusa police shut down Vincent Avenue between Arrow Highway and Gladstone Street as a result of the fire.
Investigators were summoned to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.


PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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Grass fire ignites near 210 Freeway in Pasadena; officials investigate possibility of arson

PASADENA >> Firefighters quickly extinguished a grass fire along the 210 Freeway in Pasadena Friday, and authorities investigated reports the fire may have been intentionally set.
The fire broke out just after 2:10 p.m. along the eastbound 210 Freeway, just west of Madre Street, according to Pasadena Fire Department officials said California Highway Patrol logs.
Officials extinguished the flames within minutes, confining the fire to less than 50 square feet in size.
At least one witness reported seeing a man intentionally light the fire and walk away, according to CHP logs.
The possible arsonist was described as a white man wearing a white T-shirt and blue basketball shorts.
No suspects were in custody as the investigation continued Friday afternoon.

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Pasadena Fire Department to announce ‘Disaster Information Sites’ program at open house Saturday

PASADENA >> The public is invited to an open house at the Pasadena Fire Department’s Station 33 Saturday, where officials will discuss disaster preparedness the department’s new disaster information program, officials said.
Fire apparatus will be on display, station tours and live demonstrations will be held and the public will have an opportunity to meet with the men and women of the PFD during the open house, to be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Station 33, 515 N. Lake Ave., city officials said in a written statement.
The event will kick of a season of open houses at all eight Pasadena Fire Department stations, authorities said. Upcoming open houses at other stations are yet to be announced.
Each open house will feature a different theme, with “disaster preparedness being the topic of Saturday’s event.
Additionally, fire officials will announce details of its new “Disaster Information Sites” program.
“The City is designating Disaster Information Sites to be located outside each Pasadena Fire Station to distribute emergency public information when other traditional means of communication become unreliable after a major disaster or emergency,” according to the PFD statement.
Station 33, 34 and 28 are currently equipped to fulfill the role, with other stations to join the program later in the year.
“The sites will also help provide a way for neighborhoods to relay local information to the City’s Emergency Operations Center when it is activated,” the statement said.
Free parking for the open house will be available nearby at the Lake Avenue Church, off Villa Street, officials said.

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UPDATED: Brush fire scorches Montebello Hills; possibility of arson investigated


MONTEBELLO >> A fast-spreading brush fire possibly sparked by an arsonist scorched more than 25 acres in the Montebello Hills and neighboring Rosemead, jumping roads with ease and drawing a massive response from firefighters throughout the area, authorities said.
The fire, dubbed the Lincoln Fire, first ignited about 1:30 p.m. in the Rio Hondo Riverbed, near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir, Montebello Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Amador said.
The fire quickly expanded to the northwest and crossed Lincoln Avenue and scorched about 20 acres of an oil field spotted with oil wells and several structures used in service of the oil field, the chief said.
Buildings were threatened by the flames, but none had been lost, he said. “We’ve been protecting those structure.”
“It does look like the Montebello Hills are under control,” Amador said. “We still have significant hot spots that we’re going to have to work through the evening.”
CMj66pRUkAAOKblThe brush fire then jumped San Gabriel Boulevard, burning its way into the vegetation of Bosque Del Rio Hondo Park in an unincorporated county area near Rosemead, Amador said. It consumed another five or so acres there.
The flames threatened several outbuildings in the park, but none had been damaged late Sunday afternoon, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher said.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter working to douse the flames from above made a “hard landing” at nearby Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier, Amador said.
Three people on board suffered possible neck and back injuries, but none that appeared to me major, Amador said.
Video footage from the scene showed the helicopter upright, with an item resembling a tail rotor lying beside it on the ground.
Further information regarding the helicopter’s emergency landing were not available.
Officials detained a person of interest, described only as a man, for questioning in connection with the Lincoln Fire, Amador said.
Further details regarding the cause of the fire or the person of interest were not available. Montebello police could not be reached for comment.


PHTOOS courtesy of the Montebello Police Department

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Man injured, home destroyed in Temple City fire

TEMPLE CITY >> A man suffered burns in a fire that destroyed his Temple City home early Thursday, authorities said.
The lone resident suffered first- and second-degree burns over about half of his body in the fire, which ignited about 9:40 a.m. at a single-story house in the 4800 block of Birchland Place , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Donald Rivas said. He was conscious when rescuers took him to a hospital, and the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
Firefighters found the injured resident already out of the home when they arrived, Rivas said.
They knocked down the flames by 10:02 a.m., fire Inspector Randall Wright said.
The house, which was densely packed with items, was a “total loss,” Rivas said. The detached garage was also damaged in the fire.
Officials estimated to value of the damage to be about $500,000.
Rivas said the fire started in a family room before spreading throughout the home. The cause remained under investigation.

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