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Woman, 81, dies after fire at 'packrat' house in South L.A.

November 17, 2011 |  8:11 am

HousefireAn 81-year-old woman died of burns she suffered when a fire broke out in a South L.A. home, trapping her in what authorities called “packrat” storage conditions.

Firefighters responded to the blaze Tuesday night in the 500 block of East Jefferson Boulevard and pushed past personal belongings to evacuate the physically handicapped woman, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said in a statement.

Authorities found no evidence of a smoke alarm or fire sprinklers in what was described as a “century-old wood frame building.”

The woman, who was not identified, died Wednesday at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. It was unknown if she owned the house that burned.

The fire started in the floor furnace, which was next to numerous combustible items, said Michael Greenup, arson counter-terrorism chief for the L.A. fire department.


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Photo: Firefighters at the scene of a blaze on East Jefferson Boulevard. Credit: Los Angeles Fire Department