HIGHLAND PARK (CBS)  —  Officials say an elderly man was found dead inside a Highland Park home as firefighters battled a blaze inside the structure Friday evening.

 The blaze at 4920 E. Stratford Road, near Occidental College, broke out for unknown reasons but officials said the home had “packrat conditions.”

The fire broke out just before 5 p.m., said Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“The structure was fully involved with flames through the roof,” Scott said, adding that the Urban Search and Rescue team would have to check the building for stability.

The man’s name was not released pending notification of his next of kin.

With 41 firefighters on the scene, the blaze was out in 22 minutes. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(©2010 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (3)
  1. David says:

    The Urban Search and Research team would have to check it for stability? And then what? It was through the roof. That was a good line there mister! Pack rat conditions? Poor old man, and then he got burned up.,Shoooot> What a drag. Probably didn’t have anyone in his life at all. combustible trash maybe?

  2. Millie says:

    I agree with you David this is quite a tragedy. My friend was across the street at a friend’s house and they made the emergency call. According to the neighbors he indeed lived alone only with his dog! How tragic that this happened to this elderly man.

  3. Paul Argueta says:

    I grew up in the house next door 4912 Stratford Rd. His name was Warren. He was reclusive, he was a pack rat, he lived alone with a dog–at that time named Blitz (whom he LOVED very much) BUT he was a nice old man. I can’t tell you the number of times as a young teen I would have to sneak over our fences to pick up our basketballs that would fly over onto his backyard — and I’ll tell you, despite how mad it made him — he never raised his voice to us. Never. He was always courteous and friendly. Rest his soul.

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