4-story home charred in Sherman Oaks fire

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The rear portion of a four-level Sherman Oaks home was gutted after a fire erupted Thursday afternoon.

The blaze started around 1:40 p.m. and it took 84 firefighters almost an hour to knock it down. The fire ripped through all four floors of the house and ignited some nearby brush.

Residents said the home used to be owned by an elderly couple. The woman died about a year ago and the husband was forced out by the bank. The man now lives in a home in Tarzana.

The Sherman Oaks home, which is in a trust, was purchased by some developers. The agent selling the home said a pair of cleaners were in the house when they smelled smoke in one of the lower levels.

The fire then erupted and spread quickly, according to authorities. Accessing parts of the home were difficult because it was on a steep hillside.

"These fires are especially challenging because we really have to start at the bottom and work our way up. This one actually started at the very lowest level of the structure and kind of burned its way up through the other floors," LAFD Deputy Chief Trevor Richmond said.

No injuries were reported. Firefighters looked through the home to put out any hot spots.

The cause of the fire was unknown.
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