Mother, child missing after Los Angeles fire

Sept. 9, 2013 at 4:21 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A mother and child were missing and feared dead after an intense fire consumed their apartment above a Los Angeles auto mechanic's shop, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the two-story structure in East Compton shortly after 2 a.m. and found the auto repair shop and loft fully engulfed in flames. The father and two other children had escaped the blaze but the woman and child were still inside, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Scott Miller said.

The Los Angeles Times reported Miller described the interior of the loft as "pack rat-like," with heavy content that caused the fire to burn hotter and longer than it otherwise would have.

The family lived above the car shop the father managed, the Times said.

Firefighters attempted to stage a search and rescue operation inside the loft but it was deemed too risky. A short time later, the second floor collapsed. Miller said cadaver dogs were brought in to survey the scene once the fire was extinguished.

As of Monday morning, firefighters had yet to recover the bodies.

"It's a lengthy process with the amount of debris," Miller said. "But we are taking every measure."

The fire's cause remained under investigation.

Topics: Scott Miller
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Madeleine McCann report finds authorities hindered investigation
Obama approval rating hits record low in blue California
Iran boasts of nuclear energy potential
Mary Landrieu hit with residency, ethics complaints
Russia rejects Budapest Memorandum meeting on Ukraine sovereignty
Trending News