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Teenage aspiring actor dies in house fire

August 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 14-year-old aspiring actor, who was placed on life support after being pulled from a burning San Fernando Valley home Tuesday, has died. Officials said Thursday that Eitan Djiji died Wednesday afternoon. The New Zealand Herald reported that the teenager was raised in Christchurch and moved to the United States with his family four years ago. Djiji was featured in the 2009 comedy, "My Homework Ate My Dog," and was due to attend the High School for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles next fall.

Firefighters said when they rushed into his home on the 4800 block of Tilden Avenue at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the two-story structure was completely engulfed. Flames were blowing out of the side door and firefighters had to go through the flames to get inside the home. Once inside, firefighters said the home was so full of smoke that it was pitch black.

Eitan's parents, Pauline and Gigi Djiji, were treated for burns, and his sister, Maya, 12, was taken to Providence Tarzana Medical Centre, where she was said to be in stable condition Friday. Four firefighters were injured during the rescue efforts. Three sustained second-degree burns to hands and extremities, and were taken to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital. The fourth firefighter was taken to a hospital for a significant knee injury.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Friday.


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