Firefighters battled a blaze Monday evening at the Hollywood Hills home of legendary singer Johnny Mathis.
The fire was reported around 5:30 p.m. at a home in the 1400 block of Stebbins Terrace, according Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
Firefighters had the blaze knocked down in about 30 minutes, Humphrey stated. The home appeared to be gutted.
“The house is absolutely totaled,” Mathis said. “There’s nothing left.”
Mathis was not home when the fire started but arrived shortly afterward.
“Someone said there was a fire at the house,” Mathis said. “I was thinking maybe a little fire.”
But it turned out to be a much bigger fire, causing significant damage to the home he said he has lived in for 56 years.
The 80-year-old performer was in surprisingly good spirits, joking with the media about needing a place to stay.
“Anybody got any place I can sleep tonight?” Mathis said.
After being told by neighbors about the contents of the home, firefighters did what they could to protect the Mathis’ irreplaceable memorabilia.
“We took all necessary precautions to protect all of his valuable things over the years of his successful career,” said LAFD Battalion Chief Dean Zipperman.
Firefighters had trouble getting to the blaze because of the narrow street and the night’s rain.
Despite the damage, Mathis called himself a very lucky man.
“I could have been here. I could have been in bed. I’m very lucky,” he said. “A little sad, of course, but lucky.”
According to fire investigators, the blaze started in a room that Mathis said was full of aquarium equipment.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Thank you @LAFD for your swift response, and everyone for your support! Johnny wasn't home at the time of the fire, and nobody was hurt.
— Johnny Mathis (@MathisJohnny) November 3, 2015