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Search for Mount Washington man’s body ends without remains being found

LAFD Photo | Harry Garvin

LAFD Photo by Harry Garvin

MOUNT WASHINGTON — The L.A. Fire Department this afternoon halted a week-long search for the remains of an elderly man who is believed to have perished in a residential fire in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue.

The fire department had brought in two heavy cranes and deployed cadaver dogs numerous times as part of what was described as a “painstaking and methodical search” through the rubble of the approximately 9,100-square-foot home, which descends three levels down a hillside. But the LAFD crews turned up empty handed and called off their recovery efforts to find the 84-year-old homeowner.

What happens now? The Department of Building and Safety has issued an order to demolish the home on Sea View Avenue, apparently with the man’s body still inside. “If during future demolition operations any remains are discovered, the LAFD and Coroner’s Office will respond back to the scene for recovery operations,” the fire department said in a statement.

The elderly owner of the large home ran back into his room as the Oct. 20 fire tore through the home, where as many as 15 tenants lived, reported the L.A. Times.

All persons are accounted for except the elderly man. One resident, a 74-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital in fair condition to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The home is in foreclosure, according to Redfin.

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6 comments

  1. I don’t know much about finding remains in a burned house, but is this common? It seems kind of insane that no person or dog can find a trace of the man. Very sad.

  2. Elizabeth, it’s unclear that he was even in there. The house has a history of police being called to it for various reasons. They are still investigating.

  3. Arson or Meth Lab is my best guess.

  4. The article makes it sound like they are looking for an intact body. Well, since that house burned for a long time, it is likely that the body had turned into ashes, no?

  5. I lived at the bottom of this house. It was NOT a meth lab situation. Likely a stupid accident. Fellow roommates said he ran back into his room. The fire was right below him and was quite intense, so it seems possible the fire just burned him to ashes. Sadly. I also lost a cat in this horrible fire. I did also suspect arson though in the beginning. But it’s starting to look like a dumb accident. https://www.gofundme.com/aronjdoughty

  6. If you live on this hill and see a calico cat please email me on Facebook. Also my phone number is on the facebook page. My Calico female cat is still missing. I don’t think she made it out, but if by some miracle she did and you see her please message me. https://www.facebook.com/007samanthabond

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