Fire Fatalities Spike in Los Angeles

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    Investigators found there were no working fire alarms in a converted garage that erupted into flames Wednesday morning. Fire officials are also looking into how firefighters missed the chance to save a mother and child little more than an hour before the deadly fire claimed their lives. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from South Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

    Eleven people have died in eight house fires so far this year, well ahead of last year's total of 20, and firefighters are worried about the high number of homes that don't have working smoke alarms.

    The news comes a day after a mother and her child were killed in a fire in South Los Angeles.

    Authorities on Thursday released the name of the year-old boy and his mother inside a detached garage that caught fire in South Los Angeles.

    Firefighters Investigated Report of Smoke Prior to Deadly Fire

    [LA] Firefighters Investigated Report of Smoke Prior to Deadly Fire
    Less than two hours before a fire killed a mother and her child, NBC4 learned that firefighters responded to a report of smoke in the neighborhood, but left because they didn t spot flames. An internal investigation into what went wrong is now underway. Watch the report on the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

    The child was identified as Dillan Reyes, said Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County coroner's office, who said he could not yet release the name of the boy's mother.

    It took firefighters less than 10 minutes to douse the blaze, which broke out around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday in a garage, which had been converted into a living area, in the 100 block of East 50th Street.

    Fire crews pulled the boy from the home and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His mother was also found inside the home, which had no smoke detectors, according to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

    It was unclear if the converted garage was a legal, permitted residence.

    The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

    Dillan's father, Oscar works at Henry's Tacos, which is taking donations for the funerals.

    Jaime Moore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said every one of the fires this year either did not have a smoke alarm or the smoke alarm wasn't working.

    He listed risk factors the homes had:

    They were:

    Living in non-traditional housing situations (i.e. a garage or a converted barn),

    hording conditions,

    and an elderly person living alone with dementia and disability issues.

    "These risk factors compounded with the risk of not having a functional smoke alarm greatly increases one's chances of becoming a fire fatality," he said.

    Below is a list of the locations of the fire fatalities so far this year and the number of deaths:

    • 1/10/2014, 3900 W. King Blvd., 1
    • 1/13/2014, 13700 Eldridge Ave., 4
    • 1/20/2014, 7900 Sunny Brae Ave., 1
    • 1/28/2014, 2300 Orange Drive, 1
    • 2/8/2014, 200 E. 47th Place, 1
    • 2/21/2014, 500 W. Avenue 44, 1
    • 3/5/2014, 100 E. 50th Street, 2

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