Woman dies in La Cañada house fire, despite Good Samaritan’s efforts

A house fire called in to the authorities by a passing motorist claimed the life Thursday of one woman living on the 1000 block of Fairview Avenue, officials reported.
(Tim Berger / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are investigating a house fire that broke out last Thursday evening on the 1000 block of Fairview Avenue, eventually claiming the life of a woman.

Sgt. J. Larios, a watch commander for the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, said the call of a house fire came in at 9:04 p.m. March 8. Multiple fire units responded, including La Cañada’s Station No. 19.

Station Capt. Richard Garcia said firefighters engaged in a rescue effort at the home.

“There was one patient — they carried her out,” Garcia said Friday. “The cause was not determined, so the sheriff’s arson squad is looking into it.”

At the scene of the fire Friday morning, the smell of smoke still in the air, a small crowd of neighbors gathered in the middle of the private road. One of them, a man who asked not to be named, said he didn’t know about the blaze until he heard fire crews’ chainsaws outside.

The neighbor said the fire was called in by a motorist, who’d been driving up nearby La Cañada Boulevard and saw what they first thought to be fog.

“They saw it was smoke, so they drove around to try and pinpoint it. Then they called it in,” the man said, adding that the Good Samaritan even attempted to douse the flames.

“They had a hose and were hosing it down,” he said, pointing at the garden hose of a nearby house.

On Friday the damage to the front of the house was visible from the street. A mixture of ash, books and papers spilled out from a front window, and stacks of scorched papers, books and clothing stood by a collection of trash bins.

In the driveway, an unopened Korea Daily newspaper lay untouched.