Man Perishes in Eagle Rock Fire

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Despite the swift response of firefighters, a home in northeast Los Angeles was destroyed by flames Monday evening and sadly took the life of one man.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was notified by the 9-1-1 call of a neighbor at 5:44 PM on November 9, 2020, to respond to a structure fire at 1104 West Oak Grove Drive in Eagle Rock, where firefighters arrived quickly to find a two-story ascending hillside residence fully involved in fire, amidst dense burning vegetation. 

A bold defensive attack was rapidly initiated as LAFD personnel brought multiple large hose streams to bear against the towering flames, preventing the inferno from extending beyond the soon structurally unstable and untenable 1,648 square-foot building, as they protected neighboring households from harm.

An LAFD helicopter was summoned to orbit strategically above the location to provide aerial reconnaissance and command support, assuring there was no embercast from the burning 110 year-old home to further threaten the neighborhood, considered a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, as it is historically prone to wildfire.  

Despite the property's overgrowth of volatile vegetation, there was thankfully no wind, allowing the 105 firefighters serving under Deputy Chief Phillip Fligiel to confine the flames to the structure of fire origin and surrounding vegetation, taking just one hour and 49 minutes to extinguish the fire. 

Due to severe fire damage, the presence of legally mandated smoke alarms and their functional status at the time of the fire, could not be immediately determined. The home was not equipped with optional residential fire sprinklers

Neighbors and relatives were unable to immediately determine the location of an older adult male known to sometimes live at the home. While a detailed examination of the periphery offered no immediate clues, a comprehensive search of the largely collapsed structure, red-tagged as unsafe for entry, had to wait until daylight. On Tuesday morning, LAFD Urban Search & Rescue experts were evaluating the structure and working with Human Remains Detection K9 handlers to plan for a systematic search of the building when the remains of the adult, male occupant were located. 

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation by LAFD Arson and Counter-Terrorism Section and LAPD. The LA County Coroner / Medical Examiner's Office will handle cause of death determination and confirmation of the identity of the individual.

Dispatched LAFD Units: E42  E12  T12  E212  RA12  RA55  E250  T50  BC2  E55  E44  E201  T1  T35  E235  CM42  EM1  BC11  T89  E289  E89  UR89  BC1  CM22  E90  H0E  BC13  BC18  RA1  RA56  EM13  H2  HA2  E9  E202  T2  E20  E210  T10  PI2  EA1  RT40  CM21  AR1  T85  E285  E21  T5  E205  

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