Nearly three months after firefighters called off a search for the remains of a man believed to have perished in a fire at a Mount Washington mansion, a contractor demolishing the home found human remains in the rubble, authorities said Wednesday.
A contractor demolishing the Sea View Avenue home made the discovery Wednesday and notified authorities, said Peter Sanders, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The remains have not been identified, but Sanders said there was only one person who they believe did not escape the flames on Oct. 20. That man, Robert Tieger, is believed to have perished.
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"We are hopeful that this is the person that we suspected to be there the whole time," Sanders said.
At least three tenants escaped the flames. A 74-year-old woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, officials said. A 32-year-old resident got out through a window with her dog.
She was not injured. The cause of the fire was not known.
Firefighters searched through the wreckage for the remaining victim over seven days, but called off their hunt on Oct. 27 after cadaver dogs were no longer able to pick up a scent.
The fire was one of the most challenging that some veteran chiefs had encountered in their careers. The structure was so badly damaged that its walls were cracked and bowing outward, hampering the search, Sanders said.
At one point, searchers went into rooms of the home, but they limited the time they spent inside.
The home was turned over to the bank, which owns it. The home was in foreclosure, Sanders said.