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Man Found Dead After Fire Rips Through Garage in Winnetka

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A man was found dead inside a Winnetka garage that was damaged by fire Monday morning, officials said.

lafd winnetka fire

A garage blackened by fire is seen at 7971 Sunnybrae Ave. in Winnetka on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. (Credit: Los Angeles Fire Department)

More than 30 firefighters responded around 4 a.m. to the property at 7971 Sunnybrae Ave. (map) after receiving several 911 calls regarding a structure fire, according a news release from Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

“Firefighters forced entry and mounted a bold interior offense with hose lines, and cut holes with chainsaws on the roof to allow the thick smoke, heat and gases to escape, greatly improving visibility inside,” Scott said.

As crews searched the charred garage, they found the deceased man, according to the LAFD. His name was not immediately released.

It took firefighters about 17 minutes to put out the fire, and the flames did not spread to the home where an elderly couple was sleeping, according to the statement.

The garage was not equipped with smoke detectors, and there was excessive storage inside, Scott said. The Department of Building and Safety was notified to determine if the garage was being used as a sleeping quarters, according to the LAFD.

The blaze caused about $20,000 in damage to the structure and $10,000 to contents, the news release stated.

Arson investigators responded to the scene to try to pinpoint the cause of the fire, authorities said.