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Human remains found in wreckage of Mount Washington house that burned 3 months ago

Coroner
Coroner officials have removed the charred remains from the wreckage of a massive Mount Washington home that burned in October.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Human remains were discovered Wednesday amid the wreckage of a massive Mount Washington home that burned in October, authorities said.

The discovery appears to signal the end of a mystery spawned by the Oct. 20 blaze: What happened to the man last seen by housemates running into the flames?

For a week after the 9,100-square-foot home was ravaged by flames, authorities combed through the charred rubble, searching for signs of the man. Despite a “meticulous search,” Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders said the man was not found.

On Wednesday, a demolition contractor at the home in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue spotted the remains and notified the Fire Department, according to an agency spokesman. 

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The three-level home was located in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue.
The three-level home was located in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department has secured the property, and the coroner’s office is expected to visit the site Thursday to begin examining the remains, a police spokeswoman said.

The man who is believed to have died in the fire, Robert Tieger, has been described as a landlord of the three-level home. In recent years, up to 15 people lived there at any given time, according to Daniel Nateras, a tenant who escaped the blaze.

Nateras told The Times that as flames overtook the home, Tieger ran toward a bedroom but never came out. 

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More than 150 firefighters responded to the blaze, and at one point three helicopters circled, surveying the property and monitoring whether embers ignited nearby brush.

At least one person was injured: a 74-year-old woman who suffered smoke inhalation. A 32-year-old woman managed to escape through a ground-floor window with her dog and was examined for injuries by paramedics at the scene, Sanders said. 

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno

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