South Los Angeles man killed in house fire

Authorities on Sunday were investigating the circumstances of a fire that swept through a South Los Angeles home and left one man dead.

The blaze erupted in a single-story home in the 300 block of East 106th Street about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, said Cecil Manresa of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The victim's age and identity were not available. Coroner's officials said the body was burned beyond recognition.

At least one smoke detector was present in the home, but whether it was functioning is unknown, Manresa said.

The fires was initially listed as suspicious and fire investigators are working with Los Angeles Police Department detectives, pending an autopsy listing the cause of death, said Los Angeles fire Capt. Jaime Moore.

The victim was apparently alone in the home. There is no indication of foul play, Moore said.

The victim was the 13th person this year to die as a result of a fire, outpacing last year's total of 22, Moore said.

Fire officials went door-to-door Sunday morning, handing out more than 30 smoke alarms as well as carbon monoxide detectors to homes in the area. Since January, at least eight civilian fire fatalities have occurred in Los Angeles residences with no functioning smoke detector.

Residents were given brochures on how to develop a family escape plan in case of emergency and asked to sign pledge cards to install detectors as part of the Fire Department's initiative to eventually use computers to track distribution, Moore said.

Despite state laws mandating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, two out of three homes in the canvass area had no working detectors, Moore said.

"The general public is eager to learn but they need a lot more education," Moore said. "We hear stories about people who said they heard a bird-like noise coming from the detector and so they took out the battery. That's a signal to change the battery."


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