A mother and son lived in the garage where two people were found dead after a blaze in West Hills on Wednesday, according to a neighbor.
Firefighters responded to a fire in the 22500 block of Vanowen Street just after 10 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Some 32 firefighters worked 17 minutes to extinguish the blaze, located at a one-story garage, which appeared to have possibly been converted into a residential living space, department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.
Two people were found dead inside -- marking the first two fire-related fatalities of 2016, Capt. Daniel Curry said.
A mother and son from El Salvador lived inside the garage, a neighbor said, adding that he believed they cleaned homes for work.
Fire officials could not immediately confirm the identities, ages or genders of the two victims.
A husband and wife passing by the structure first saw the smoke and called 911.
"I wish I was there earlier," said the husband, James Lua, who knocked on the door to see if anyone was inside before grabbing a hose in attempt to put out the fire.
The Fire Department initially said the fire was located at a structure in the 22500 block of West Vanowen Street, which is located in Lake Balboa. The department later said the incident occurred in West Hills.
Free smoke alarm installation and information was expected to be offered to people living in the neighborhood around noon, as provided by the the Fire Department's Smoke Alarm Field Education Program.