Firefighters urged the importance of making sure fire alarms and smoke detectors work inside residences after a 98-year-old matriarch died in a house fire. Reggie Kumar reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014.
A 98-year-old family matriarch died in a South Park house fire early Saturday morning.
Firefighters responded to 257 E. 47th Place about 3:40 a.m. where the fire ripped through a single story home. The fire was knocked down at 4:05 a.m.
The victim, identified by family members as Anna Brooks, died at a hospital, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Brooks lived at the home for more than 60 years and was respected in her neighborhood, family members said.
"She was very sweet and very quiet, and she made really good lemon cakes," Brooks' great niece Triniti Hicks told NBC4.
Firefighters responding to the fire found Brooks on the floor inside her bedroom, and officials said the fire alarm may not have gone off.
"None of the first responders heard (a fire detector), and it was melted hanging by the hard wire," said Steve Ruda of the LA Fire Department.
Firefighters believe a floor furnace sparked the fire. Brooks' death is the eighth fire-related death so far this year, and officials say in each case the homeowner did not have a working smoke detector.
On Saturday morning, firefighters went door-to-door near Brooks' home handing out new smoke detectors.
"Get (smoke detectors) checked as often as possible because it saves your life," Hicks said.
Brooks was previously reported as 80 years old.