Mother who suffered stillbirth loses daughter's ashes in Sunland house fire

Eric Resendiz Image
Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Mother loses baby daughter's ashes in Sunland house fire
"It's just hard. This was our home," said Ashley Vega, who is originally from Boyle Heights but moved to the Sunland area about two years ago.

SUNLAND-TUJUNGA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A devastated mother lost her baby daughter's ashes when her Sunland home caught fire over the weekend.

The fire broke out around 4:20 p.m. Saturday at a backhouse near Nassau Avenue and Fenwick Street.

Ashley Vega, who lives in the home with her fiancé and their dog, said their landlord called to tell them about the fire. When Vega arrived, fire crews were already on scene.

"I let them know like, 'Hey, my daughter's ashes are in there. Is there any way you can try to find her?'" recalled Vega. "They looked and looked everywhere, but they said everything was pretty much gone."

Vega said suffered a stillbirth when she was 9 months pregnant.

"It's just hard. This was our home," said Vega, who is originally from Boyle Heights but moved to Sunland about two years ago. "When I first saw the police and firemen here, I did fall to my knees. I collapsed. I screamed. They didn't let me in."

Vega said she and her fiancé lost nearly all of their belongings. She suspects the cause of the fire may have been arson after neighbors told her they saw a man damaging the home.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, arson investigators were sent to the scene.

When they arrived, there was no suspect at the location and no arrests were made. The fire department is not working this as an arson investigation.

"They just said there is no evidence. There's probably nothing they can do," said Vega. "Now, like, all we have are things we kind of recovered from the house."

Vega said the American Red Cross was helping her family with a place to stay. Both Vega and her fiancé had to take a week off work to figure out their situation.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraiser has since been creating to help the couple and their dog.