Sun Valley house fire leaves 2 critical, 1 serious, firefighter injured

SUN VALLEY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Four people, including a Los Angeles firefighter, were injured in a house fire in the Shadow Hills area of Sun Valley Saturday night.

The fire started around 8 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It was initially reported as a brush fire, but firefighters responding to the scene found out it was a single-story home engulfed in flames.

According to the LAFD, the blaze erupted in the attic and spread to the rest of the home. It took 68 firefighters a little less than half an hour to knock the blaze down.

During the firefight, a couple in their 90s were rescued and taken to a local hospital initially in grave condition. The man and woman were found unresponsive inside the burning home, according to the LAFD.

Two teams of firefighters and paramedics worked to revive the pair and were able to restore their pulses, breathing and blood pressure. The elderly couple are now listed in critical condition.

Neighbors said they saw the smoke in the evening and immediately called 911. Some even tried to get into the home to help the elderly couple, but the conditions inside were too intense.

"You couldn't breathe at all. The second you're in there the smoke - it hits you like a wall," Chris Laskaris said. "We had to crawl pretty much on the floor of the ground to get anywhere. We moved like 10 feet inside the house and you couldn't breathe - it's almost suffocating."

Another woman related to the couple was hospitalized in serious condition after suffering burns to her left hand and "significant" smoke exposure.

Authorities said the woman was initially in fair condition, but her health took a turn for the worse while she was in the hospital.

Neighbors said the couple have lived at the home for the last 40 years. Their son and daughter-in-law live in a home and there is a guest house occupied by a tenant on the property.

A firefighter was also taken to a hospital to be evaluated after the department said he appeared to show the effects of "extreme exertion." He was expected to be released later in the evening.

Fire officials were still working to estimate the cost of the loss. They also said the home may not have had working smoke detectors.

The cause of the fire was unknown and under investigation.
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