Three people died and two others were injured in a fire that spread through a South Los Angeles home late Monday night, officials said.
Firefighters arrived at the burning home along the 8700 block of Compton Avenue in the Florence-Firestone area shortly before midnight.
They found a neighbor using a hose to pour water through one of the home’s windows as smoke billowed from the front of the home, L.A. County Fire Department spokesperson Henry Narvaez told KTLA.
Firefighters entered the home and quickly extinguished the fire as they searched for residents.
Five people were found inside, including a male victim who succumbed to his injuries at the scene, Narvaez said.
The other four people were taken to area hospitals, where two died and another two remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, according to L.A. County sheriff’s deputy Eva Jimenez.
Officials have not named those who died, but a family member identified them to KTLA as Walterine Slack, a woman in her 80s, and her two sons Timothy and Larry Slack.
“I’m still numb,” said another one of the victim’s sons, Kenneth Slack, as he stood outside the burned home Tuesday.
Slack said his mother, who was bedridden, died of smoke inhalation.
“This is just devastating and unbelievable. It’s literally unbelievable to lose three family members,” said another relative, Harvalla Printup.
The fire official said it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire. Investigators were still probing the scene to track down what sparked the blaze.
Video from inside the home shows the walls and furniture charred black from the flames.
Fire officials said the neighbor had quickly come over after hearing cries for help when the fire broke out.
“I believe that his quick actions assisted the victims that we were able to pull out — at least to give them the fighting chance that we could get in there, pull them out and then get the paramedics to attend to them,” Narvaez said.
No further details on the investigation were immediately available.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses.