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DEL REY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A woman is dead and another was rushed to the hospital after a home burst into flames in the Del Rey area of Los Angeles Tuesday morning.
The fire was reported at the single-story home around 6:15 a.m. on Sycamore Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Crews encountered a challenging firefight as the flames engulfed foliage around the home.
The structure was believed to be vacant, but firefighters pulled out a woman from inside. She was transported by paramedics in ciritcal condition.
Another person was found inside a bedroom of the home where the roof had partially collapsed. That individual was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This has been red-tagged previously by building and safety,” said LAFD Capt. Adam VanGerpen. “It was supposed to be a vacated building but we don’t know any more information about the victims.”
One person is dead and another was seriously injured after a Culver City home burst into flames.
Neighbors in the area told Eyewitness News this was the third fire that has happened across the street, adding that squatters have been an issue on the vacant property.
“The key thing is it’s not just homelessness, it’s illegal activity,” said Sharon Wormley-Carter. “One of my neighbors looked into the home a couple doors down and there was some drug paraphernalia.”
Residents in the area say they’ve reached out the owner of the vacant property, but they say the person stopped answering their calls.
“My daughter came home Friday and she was afraid to get out of the car because the property was wide open and there was activity,” another woman said. “I had to escort her. Our children should not have to live like that.”
Many say they’ve been on Zoom meetings and have called and emailed the LAPD, the L.A. Department of Building and Safety and city officials like Councilwoman Traci Park – but nothing has been done yet to fix the issue.
Wormley-Carter says she’s even hired private security while he went out of town for a business meeting.
“My kids are old enough to stay here on their own but because of all this illegal activity that’s occurring here, I didn’t even feel comfortable,” she said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.