By Mary O’KEEFE
Dark smoke from a house fire filled the Montrose sky Tuesday evening. It took firefighters a little less than an hour to contain the blaze in the 3600 block of Las Palmas Avenue in Montrose.
“The [Glendale] dispatch was called at 7:13 p.m.,” said Glendale fire Capt. Vince Rifino. “Glendale and Los Angeles County fire responded. When we got here we found a well involved structure fire.”
One of the residents was inside the house at the time of the fire. The front door was locked and a neighbor attempted to break the door to free the man but was unsuccessful.
When firefighters arrived they were able to free the man.
“There were three or four [neighbors] yelling at the man in the house and trying to break down the door,” one neighbor said. “The firefighters were here very fast. They were awesome.”
Glendale Engine 29 arrived and firefighters broke down the door, freeing the man trapped inside. Hose lines were extended through broken windows. The black smoke could be seen from miles away. Firefighters battled the heavy smoke and high heat for about an hour.
“The male resident was treated for smoke inhalation, transported to the hospital and admitted,” Rifino said.
The neighbor who attempted the rescue was treated for smoke inhalation but did not want to be transported to the hospital. Several neighbors watched the firefighters from their yards and offered assistance to the residents of the home.
“I was in the house when I heard sirens. We hear sirens all the time but these sounded really close. When I opened up my back door I saw a huge column of smoke,” said a neighbor who lives a block away.
Another neighbor said, “I was in the dining room and looked out the window to see someone grab our hose.” At
that point, she walked outside and saw the flames.
Firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof for ventilation. It took about 45 minutes to contain the fire. No other structures were damaged although trees surround the home. The family was provided temporary shelter and assistance through the American Red Cross. The loss from the blaze is estimated at $350,000 for structure and $100,000 for contents.
The cause of the fire has not been determined. The fire continues to be under investigation.