Two bodies were discovered in the rubble of a Compton-area business after a fire tore through the building early Monday morning, coroner’s officials confirmed.
A couple living in an upstairs loft with their children reportedly owned the building.
A man was able to escape the blaze with three children, but was unable to contact his wife and a fourth child who had also been inside, L.A. County fire spokesman Scott Miller said.
Cadaver dogs were brought in to help in the search for the two missing occupants.
“Firefighters attempted a rescue but were prevented from entering more than a few feet into the structure by flame and debris,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release Monday afternoon.
Officials have not identified the bodies found at about noon near the rear of the building, but they were believed to be those of the 42-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter.
Firefighters had knocked down the fire at 3:24 a.m., but the building had major damage, authorities said.
One firefighter was treated after injuring his knee at the scene, in the unincorporated East Compton area, Miller said.
Sheriff’s detectives from the Homicide Bureau and Arson/Explosive Detail were investigating, and fire officials were seeking to determine the cause of the fire.