Mother, 98, And Son Killed In Encino Condo Fire
ENCINO (CBSLA.com) — The cause of an condo fire that killed a 98-year-old woman, her 74-year-old son and a dog remained under investigation Friday.
The fire broke out around 9 p.m. in a third-floor unit at the Encino Spa Condominiums in the 5300 block of Lindley Avenue in Encino, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
According to officials, there was a delay in response time because the person who called 911 made a mistake reporting the location.
“The initial report of the fire came as a Newcastle address, which is the other side of the complex,” said LA City Fire Capt. Jamie Moore.
Firefighters had to run 100-yards of hose from the street to the burning unit as a result of the mistake.
One resident was unable to get out of the building and spent the night on her balcony. A handyman found her Friday morning and took her to a hospital for treatment of chest pains.
Six other residents were treated for smoke inhalation. A firefighter also suffered a hand injury, officials said.
Ten residents were displaced.
It took about 80 firefighters and just over an hour to knock down the fire.
The bodies of the unidentified victims were discovered after the fire was put out, the LAFD said.
Officials said the building contained hard-wired smoke alarms, but the unit that burned and the one next to it didn’t have working smoke detectors. The building’s manual fire alarm was also not triggered.
“When you’re dealing with a condominium complex, it’s the responsibility of the condominium owner to make sure that smoke alarm is working,” said Moore. “If you’re living in an apartment complex, it’s the responsibility of the property owner and management to make sure those smoke alarms are working.”
“The smoke alarms that were present were burnt up, there was no sign that those smoke alarms were operational,” Moore said. “Although they are hard-wired, they did not have a battery backup.”
One thing that did save lives were the building’s fire-resistant doors.
Firefighters Friday went door to door to inspect the smoke detectors at the nearly 50 units in the complex. Officials said most of the smoke detectors are working, but they also gave out nine detectors to residents who needed them.
Crews also canvased the neighborhood, handing out free smoke alarms and safety information as part of their ongoing education effort.
Nguyen said that identification is pending for the two individuals that died in the fire.
Twenty people have died in fires in the city of Los Angeles this year.