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14-year-old boy rescued from burning Valley home in grave condition

August 10, 2010 |  2:44 pm

A 14-year-old boy pulled unconscious from a burning San Fernando Valley home was fighting for his life Tuesday after a harrowing rescue that injured two firefighters and sent three of his family members to the hospital.

When firefighters arrived at 4822 Tilden Ave. in Sherman Oaks about 6:29 a.m., they quickly escorted a 58-year-old man, a 50-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl outside the home and treated them for burns and respiratory problems, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

The teen boy was still missing, so firefighters searched the two-story home, climbing through thick smoke on their hands and knees.

"They couldn't see their hands in front of their faces, and their helmets were scorched in the oven-like home," Humphrey said. "Despite painful burns, they continued to search."

Before long, two firefighters discovered the boy not breathing and without a pulse at the top of a narrow spiral staircase.

"In oppressive heat and smoke, they carried the boy to fresh air and immediately began providing CPR and advanced life support," Humphrey said.

The boy was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital in grave condition and was placed on life support.

The two firefighters that rescued the boy suffered severe burns to their hands, Humphrey said.

It took 70 firefighters 37 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

-- Tony Barboza

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