Despite a quick and aggressive fire attack, a 63 year old man died in a late night fire in Westchester.
At 11:43PM on July 21, 2021 the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire in the 8300 block of Stewart Ave in the Westchester neighborhood. Firefighters arrived to find a single family dwelling with what initially appeared to be a garage well involved in fire.
As crews rapidly deployed for an offensive fire attack operation, they found a yard with excessive storage conditions and heavy fire. They had reports of a possible trapped victim and learned the male occupant typically spent time in a vinyl carport style tent in the involved area.
26 firefighters, under the command of Battalion Chief Anthony Matthews, extinguished the fire in 17 minutes and prevented it from extending to the exposed garage (minor damage to door and smoke inside) and house. They searched the area and located the missing occupant. Sadly, he was beyond medical help and determined deceased on scene.
Per protocol for a fire related fatality, LAFD Arson and Counter-Terrorism section responded and this remains an active investigation.