Fire tears through singer Johnny Mathis' Hollywood Hills home

Leanne Suter Image
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
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Singing superstar Johnny Mathis surveyed the shocking scene after his Hollywood Hills home went up in flames on Monday.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Singing superstar Johnny Mathis' Hollywood Hills home went up in flames on Monday.

Mathis surveyed the shocking scene at night.

"I just drove up and someone said that there was a fire at the house," he said. "I was thinking maybe a little fire -- big fire."

The 80-year-old had just returned to his home from a concert in Ohio. His luggage are the only belongings he has left.

The devastating blaze erupted around 5:30 p.m. at the hillside house on Stebbins Terrace, quickly collapsing part of the roof.

"There's an indoor pool and a lot of plastic over above," Mathis said. "The house is totaled, absolutely totaled. There's nothing left but a few little mementos."

After hitting it big with numerous hits, Mathis bought this hillside mansion. He's owned it for 56 years.

His prized piano now sits in the midst of the damage. Firefighters helped to save some of the treasures from Mathis' successful career.

"Any time the fire department arrives on scene, we take all measures to protect property of the residents," said Battalion Chief Dean Zipperman of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "And due to the fact that neighbors had said something, we immediately got his trophies and some of his memorabilia that's irreplaceable."

Officials said the blaze began in a room filled with aquariums and other electrical equipment.

As arson investigators work on finding the cause, Mathis is counting his blessings and is grateful no one was home when the fire started.

"Those are just things, you know?" he said. "I'm a very lucky man. I could have been here, I could have been in bed, I could have had some of the people who help me with the house, so I'm very lucky."

Mathis says this is the only home he has ever owned, and it's still too early to tell if he will rebuild.