An investigation was underway Friday into a fire that ripped through an apartment unit in Encino, killing an elderly woman and her son, and leaving six others–including a firefighter–hospitalized, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out on a third-floor unit located in the 5300 block of Lindley Avenue (map) shortly before 9 p.m. on Thursday, according to an LAFD incident report.
The unit was part of a three-story complex and was “well involved in flames” when fire crews arrived, the report stated.
“An aggressive attack ensued and additional firefighters were quickly requested,” LAFD spokesman Eric Scott stated in the report.
One neighbor said he heard two explosion at his house before someone alerted him to the fire.
“I was in my house playing video games and I heard a couple explosions, and then I heard our neighbor call and say, ‘Yo, fire, fire,’ knocking on our door,” David Brontelberg said.
It took a little more than an hour fore fire crews to extinguish the blaze.
One of the responding firefighters suffered a hand injury and was transported to a local hospital. At last report, the firefighter was in fair condition.
Eight civilian patients were evaluated for injuries, and five were transported to local hospitals in unknown conditions.
A dog in a neighboring unit also died from smoke inhalation.
The unit had smoke detectors, but they dated back to the when the building was constructed and did not appear to be working.
The victim’s, whose names have not been released yet, were identified as woman in her 90s and her son, who was in his 70s, according to LAFD Capt. Jaime Moore.
The fatalities were the 19th and 20th related to a structure fire in the department’s jurisdiction this year, Scott said.