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2nd body found in burned-out South L.A. structure

March 4, 2012 | 10:03 pm

Arson fire
Investigators found the remains Sunday of a second person in the rubble of a South Los Angeles structure that was destroyed by an arson fire.

The Los Angeles Fire Department had been combing through the remnants of a wood-frame and stucco building at 1026 E. Vernon Ave. since Friday.

While fighting the blaze that erupted early Friday morning, firefighters evacuated a critically injured woman, who later died at a hospital. At the time, officials received reports that a second person had been with that woman before the blaze but fled before firefighters arrived.

However, firefighters continued sifting through the debris and on Sunday found human remains.

“We could not immediately ascertain the age or gender,” Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

That, as well as a cause of death, will be determined by coroner’s officials in coming days.

The building was originally built as a home and was converted at some point into a small medical office, then boarded up and abandoned. It had been vandalized before the fire, officials said.

The Fire Department, assisted by a dog trained to detect fire accelerants, has learned that the fire was deliberately set, Humphrey said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Los Angeles Fire Department Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section at (213) 893-9800.

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-- Scott Gold

Photo: A Los Angeles firefighter emerges from the badly damaged structure on East Vernon Avenue.  Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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