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2 residents burned while protecting home had thought hot tub could protect them

August 30, 2009 |  3:04 pm

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department today provided new details on the three people who were burned while protecting their homes Saturday in Big Tujunga Canyon.

Two of the people injured refused a mandatory evacuation order, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. He said that the two didn’t realize how serious the threat of the fire was, and that they thought they could protect themselves by jumping into a Jacuzzi.

But when the 80-to-100-foot flames came barreling through their neighborhood, they were seriously burned, said Whitmore.

They managed to get themselves help, he said, and the county sent in a helicopter and airlifted them to a hospital.

“These are two individuals who underestimated this fire,” Whitmore said. “This fire is serious.”

Whitmore said he did not have the details on the third person reported injured in the fire.

He said that when an evacuation order is issued, it is important to “go, and go now. You don’t have several hours to wait anymore.”

The exact conditions of the victims was not clear.

-- Alexandra Zavis at Hansen Dam

Photos: Southland wildfires

 Map: The Station Fire

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