Man Dies After Being Pulled From Fire at Expo Park Boarding House; His Sister Is in Grave Condition

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A man died after being pulled from a burning home in Exposition Park early Thursday morning, and the man's sister, who was rescued, remains in grave condition.

The fire was reported about 12:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Leighton Avenue at what authorities described as a two-bedroom home to which multiple additional rooms had been added for use by boarders.

Large flames were showing from the front of the home and people were still inside when firefighters arrived, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Cody Weireter said. Two patients were pulled out of the house in grave condition, an LAFD news alert stated.

The patients were given CPR on the grass in front of the home and then transported to local hospitals, Weireter said. The male victim was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The pair were identified by family members as George Hills, who was in his 60s, and his sister Yolanda McGruder, who is in her 50s.

Their brother, Kenneth Hills, said the pair were caretakers at the facility.

"They looked out for anybody; they would give you the shirt off their back," Hill said. "I love them to death."

A GoFundMe page created to raise money in the wake of the fire indicated that a family ran the home and cared for others there.

"My family and I, along with over a half a dozen people we take care of, lost everything in a deadly fire at our home and business," Jason Hinds wrote.

At least 8 adults and 4 children were displaced by the fire, according to LAFD. The Red Cross was sent to the scene to help with the families in need, Weireter said.

More than 50 firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze in 34 minutes, according to the news alert. One firefighter who ran to the rear of the home and assisted with a rescue suffered minor smoke inhalation injures and was transported to a local hospital as a precaution.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and arson investigators responded to the scene.

It was unclear if the home had working fire alarms, and firefighters planned to return to the neighborhood this weekend to hand out smoke alarms.

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