Life and Arts

La Cañada History: Malfunctioning spa heater blamed in nearly $500,000 house fire

Los Angeles County firefighters remove burned portions of a roof from an Ivafern Lane home in La Cañada Flintridge that went up in smoke on Oct. 5, 2009.
(File Photo/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

A former La Cañada High School teacher, Ellie Wildermuth and her husband, Bob, who were staying with relatives in Redondo Beach after having been evacuated during the Station fire, learned their home had gone up in flames. But the Station fire was not to blame for the Oct. 5, 2009, blaze, which was later blamed on a malfunctioning indoor spa heater. Ellie Wildermuth told a reporter the closest she had come to crying on learning of the fire at her Ivafern Lane residence was when she heard a firefighter’s hand had been burned during the incident. Damages to the property were estimated at $460,000. The former teacher went on to publish a how-to book for dealing with such catastrophes: “Prepare: Life Goes On!”

Twenty Years Ago

A bank robbery suspect dubbed by law enforcement officials the “Civil War bandit” because of a cap he wore during six previous robberies, was arrested without incident following his third attempt at an armed robbery of the CalFed bank then located on Foothill Boulevard at Commonwealth Avenue in La Cañada.


Thirty Years Ago

It was announced that for the first time in the school’s history, Flintridge Prep’s Homecoming Court included three senior men, one of whom would be crowned Homecoming King alongside of one of the senior girls who had been nominated for Homecoming Queen.

Forty Years Ago

The amateur La Cañada Players theater group’s first production of the 1979-80 season, “Harvey,” moved into its third week on stage at the Oak Grove Auditorium on the 100 block of Foothill Boulevard, where Crestview Prep is today.


Fifty Years Ago

The La Cañada High School varsity football team learned one of its key players was found to be scholastically ineligible, requiring the school to forfeit its first three victories of the school year, over Crescenta Valley, Hoover and Pacifica high schools. The announcement was made by then-Principal Frank Abbott.

Sixty Years Ago

Roman riding, a type of trick riding during which an equestrian stands atop a pair of horses, with one foot on each horse, was one of the more thrilling events at the October 1959 Flintridge Amateur Horse Show held at the Flintridge Riding Club.

Pat Ommert and her steeds take a precision jump in preparation for the Roman Riding competition at the 1959 Flintridge Amateur Horse Show.
(File Photo/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.

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