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2 dead, 1 critical in fiery explosion at Pasadena boarding home

November 1, 2012 |  6:45 am

Two men were killed and another was in critical condition Thursday morning after an explosion and fire at what authorities described as a "boarding-type facility" in Pasadena that housed nearly two-dozen men.

Authorities received a call about 2:15 a.m. about an explosion in the 1300 block of El Sereno Avenue just north of Washington Boulevard. When firefighters arrived, they found "heavy smoke and flames coming from the front of a two-story residence," said Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department.

Fire2Derderian said the scene was active and chaotic with several adult men fleeing the building "literally with the clothes off their back" as crews searched for anyone who was hurt. They found two men who had died and another who was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, she said.

 It took firefighters about 20 minutes to knock down the blaze, which authorities said left the front of the house unstable.

Derderian said preliminary reports show 19 middle-aged men were living in the "boarding-type facility," and investigators were trying to determine exactly what kind of residence it was and what caused the explosion and fire.

At about 6 a.m. Thursday, Derderian said that most of the men were standing on the sidewalk as authorities and city officials worked to find them shelter.


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-- Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Resident Rick Kindred, who lived on the ground floor, holds onto his belonging as he waits for a bus. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times