Firefighters Pass Out Smoke Alarms In South LA Neighborhood Ravaged By House Fires

LOS ANGELES ( — Firefighters are distributing free smoke alarms to residents of a Los Angeles neighborhood after a fire in a converted garage Tuesday left a man with burns on more than 80 percent of his body.

Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Ruda and other firefighters were expected to go door-to-door to hand out alarms in the 2600 block of South Cloverdale Avenue in the West Adams district, according to officials.

The critically burned man’s living area, which officials described as a converted garage, had no functional smoke alarm, according to LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey. He remains hospitalized in critical condition with life-threatening burns.

A mother and two children staying in an adjacent space equipped with smoke alarms were able to escape the effects of smoke inhalation from the fire with “lesser injuries,” Humphrey said.

Ruda told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the trend in this particular neighborhood is troubling.

“If this individual should pass, it’ll be our fourteenth fatality since January 10, 2014, and this is a statistic that we’re trying to eliminate,” he said.

Among the victims is a 98-year-old woman who died from smoke inhalation in February after being rescued from a house fire in the 200 block of East 47th Place.

Authorities say while they located a smoke alarm in the victim’s residence, first responders and neighbors did not hear any “audible alarms.”

In addition to Wednesday’s door-to-door effort, free smoke alarms are available to residents at Fire Station 46 located at 4370 South Hoover Street.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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