Mother, toddler die in South L.A. fire, bringing city fire deaths to 11

Mother, toddler die in South L.A. fire, bringing city fire deaths to 11
Relatives of the deceased sit outside the residence where a 2-year-old and a woman died in a fire in South Los Angeles. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
A mother and her toddler died in a residential fire Wednesday afternoon, marking the 10th and 11th civilian fire deaths in Los Angeles this year.
The blaze was reported about 11:41 a.m. in a garage that was converted to a residence  in the 170 block of East 50th Street in South L.A., fire department spokesman Erik Scott said. 
The first firefighters to the scene spotted a 2-year-old and pulled the child from the home, but it was too late.
Crews worked “extremely hard to try and revive the child” but the toddler was ultimately pronounced dead at a hospital, Scott said. The child's gender and the age and identity of the mother were not immediately available.
The family’s father and son were not home at the time of the blaze, Scott said. Officials were visiting a nearby school to inform the boy and were trying to locate the husband, he said.
Crews were trying to determine if the house was equipped with a working smoke alarm. City building and safety officials also were en route.

The fatalities come on the heels of the Los Angeles Fire Department announcing it would launch a safety campaign after seven people died in fires in January.

"We've never had these number of fatalities in such a short amount of time," LAPD Capt. Jaime Moore said in January.
All the fires occurred in buildings without smoke detectors, officials said.
There were 20 fire-related deaths in Los Angeles last year, and 22 in 2012. The department recorded 21 deaths in 2011 and 23 deaths in 2010. 
The LAFD's safety campaign will probably include reminders for residents to install smoke detectors, public service announcements and partnerships with safety nonprofits. The department also plans to reach out to smoke detector companies for donations.

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