Pico-Union fire damages 3 Craftsman homes

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Two Craftsman-style houses and an apartment building in the Pico-Union district were badly damaged by flames and heavy smoke Wednesday afternoon, forcing the displacement of 41 people. (KABC)

Three Craftsman-style houses in the Pico-Union district were badly damaged by flames and heavy smoke Wednesday afternoon as about 140 firefighters extinguished the blazes and protected other houses.

The flames and smoke consumed most of the two large Craftsman-style houses and damaged a smaller one, firefighters said.

"We have now reached what we declare a major emergency fire," said LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart as firefighters were still battling the flames.

The fires displaced 41 people - 31 adults and 10 children - according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. One dog died in the flames and two others were rescued and reunited with their owners.

One of the larger houses was divided into three residents, the other two were each divided into two residences, officials said.

No serious injuries to residents or firefighters were reported. A piece of a front facade fell on a fire captain, but it did not appear he was seriously injured.

A Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman noted the two Craftsman-style homes were not built with modern fire-prevention methods, meaning the fire could spread more quickly than it would in newer homes.

The fire was first reported at 4:45 p.m. outside of 1232 S. Bonnie Brae St. before it spread to a neighboring house. The flames appeared to be most intense in the attics of both larger homes, though firefighters said they had not yet determined where or how the fire started.

Firefighters achieved knockdown on the fires within about two hours.

Both of the larger historic homes are three stories. There were people inside the homes when the fire broke out and officials believe they were able to escape, some by jumping out upper windows.

Pico Boulevard was closed in both directions near the fire.

The displaced residents were expected to be temporarily sheltered at a nearby fire station until the Red Cross can place them.
Related Topics:
newshouse firePico-UnionLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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