Los Angeles Fire Department

Neighbors Blame Squatters for Abandoned House Fire in Pacoima

Firefighters extinguished a fire inside a vacant, boarded up Pacoima home that has been taken over by squatters according to neighbors.

Crews responded to a home in the 13100 block of Eustace Street, near Fellows Avenue, about 2 a.m. Saturday morning and received reports one person may have been trapped inside, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A search of the home found no one inside, but a partial roof collapse left significant debris inside the home and caused the delay of a second search to ensure no victims were in the house, she said.

People who live on the street said squatters, who have been living there for years, are to blame for the fire. The house was supposedly abandoned, but the home appeared to be filled with belongings. Also, this is the second fire at the home in the past four months.

"I see randoms just go in there and do whatever they want to do," Marisa Zavala, a resident in the neighborhood, said.

Zavala added, "It's scary. We live here. Our gates are [open]. They could walk in here you never know."

Neighbors said they have called the city several times to complain but nothing has been done.

A total of 28 firefighters battled the blaze and knockdown was declared about 2:20 a.m., Stewart said.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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