An outdoor heating device that was being used to heat a home inside triggered a house fire Sunday in the Harbor Gateway community of Los Angeles, killing one of its occupants, an 81-year-old man, authorities said.
The 28 firefighters dispatched at 6:34 a.m. to the 500 block of 157th Street had the fire out within 21 minutes of their arrival, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“The victim’s daughter sustained non-life threatening burns while trying to rescue her father,” Stewart said.
“While firefighters were conducting an aggressive interior fire attack, crews simultaneously performed a search to determine if any victims were trapped in the structure as reported,” she said. “Sadly, firefighters located a deceased person in one of the rooms.”
The home, built in 1956, did have functioning smoke alarms, she said, but it was unknown at this time if that is what alerted the man’s daughter to the fire.
“This tragic loss underscores the importance of exercising caution when using any portable heating device,” Stewart said. “Only indoor heaters, bearing the mark of a safety certification (ETL, UL, and CSA) should be used in the home. They should also never be left unattended or while all occupants are sleeping.”