Family of four in grave condition after Sylmar house fire

A family of four -- including two children -- in Sylmar were "fighting for their lives" Monday following an early-morning fire that broke out in their home.

The fire was reported at 4:37 a.m. in the 13700 block of Eldridge Avenue in what was described as a two-story "metal-clad, barn-like home," said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived, they found a mother huddled with her son and daughter and the father in a nearby hallway.

All four were "pulse-less and non-breathing," Humphrey said, adding that the father had suffered some burn injuries as well.

"All four were taken in grave condition to area hospitals," he said.

Crews were able to extinguish the flames in about 25 minutes despite wind gusts of up 30 mph, Humphrey said.

A half-dozen investigators were at the scene trying to determine the cause of the fire and where it started; authorities said there were no smoke alarms present.

"This incident underscores the importance of having properly functioning smoke alarms in the home," Humphrey said.


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