Pets Die, Couple Gravely Injured in West Hills Blaze

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
A man and woman were gravely injured at a fire in this West Hills home
A man and woman were gravely injured, and their pet dog and cat perished when this West Hills home caught fire September 5, 2017.
Photo Credits: 
Creative Commons Licensed For Your Use: LAFD Photo | Harry Garvin
Two household pets perished, and a man and woman were gravely injured, when fire swept through their home at dawn Tuesday morning, in the west San Fernando Valley.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was summoned at 6:35 AM on September 5, 2017 to 6510 Capistrano Avenue in West Hills, where firefighters arrived quickly to find a one story 1,900 square-foot home well involved with fire. 
Prior to the Fire Department's arrival, a functional smoke alarm had awakened an adult male resident, who found the hallway near his bedroom impassible due to heavy smoke. Retreating quickly to his bedroom, he used a window to safely escape the burning premises. 
A mobility impaired elder man and woman sleeping in an adjacent bedroom had been similarly awakened, and succeeded in briefly calling 9-1-1 for help, before they were overcome by the thick smoke and heat of the fast moving fire, largely due to their bedroom's door being left ajar while they slept. The younger man's subsequent efforts to gain access to their bedroom via a window proved fruitless, due to the then ink-dark superheated smoke. 
Thirty-one Los Angeles firefighters made an aggressive and well-coordinated attack on the flames with simultaneous vertical ventilation, allowing the rapid rescue of the two elder residents, who appeared lifeless. Teams of LAFD Paramedics immediately rendered advanced life support measures to the pair, whose conditions improved from grave to extremely critical by the time they arrived at nearby hospitals. 
A pet cat and small dog that resided in the home however, proved beyond medical help, and died at the scene. No other injuries were reported, as the flames were fully extinguished in just nineteen minutes. 
Though the 58 year-old home was equipped with functional smoke alarms as required by law, it did not feature optional residential fire sprinklers.
Monetary loss from the blaze is estimated at $250,000 ($200,000 structure & $50,000 contents), with LAFD responders preventing the flames from spreading to nearby homes. The cause of the fire is not considered suspicious, but remains under active investigation. 
Dispatched Units: T105 E305 RA105 E472 RA72 E106 T96 E296 BC10 RA106 EM17 RA84 EM10 AR1 AR2 AR17 EM17 AR9 PH1
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