Man Dead, Woman in Critical Condition After Hawthorne House Fire

A man and woman in their 70s were found in the residence on Cerise Avenue

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013  |  Updated 12:19 PM PDT
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Man Dead, Woman in Critical Condition After House Fire

An aerial view of a house fire early Tuesday in Hawthorne.

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One person is dead and another victim is in critical condition after a house fire Tuesday morning in Hawthorne.

The deceased victim was identified as a 79-year-old male, was found in a bedroom.

The injured victim is a 78-year-old woman, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She was found in the kitchen.

Four dogs also are dead after the fire in the 13400 block of Cerise Avenue (map).

The fire was reported at about 6:20 a.m. and knocked down about 10 minutes later. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined. 

"When our units got on scene, there was heavy smoke and fire showing from the whole structure," said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Brian Riley.

Both victims were transported to a hospital, where the male victim -- who used a wheelchair -- was pronounced dead. Responding units did not realize the home was occupied until the initial search, Riley said.

A neighbor told NBC4 she thought the house was vacant.

"I didn't even realize anybody was living there because the house had been for rent for a couple months now," said neighbor Salud Erguiza.

Homicide and arson investigators were dispatched to the home.

"Not that we see anything at this point that would indicate there was any foul play involved, but just to rule that out," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Jeffrey Adams.

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