Fire crews continue search for Mount Washington homeowner's remains

Firefighters on Saturday continued to search the charred rubble of a hillside mansion in Mount Washington for the remains of its owner.

Crews led by cadaver detection dogs sifted through mounds of smoldering rubble in multiple parts of the 9,100-square-foot property by hand on Friday evening, digging down “practically to the soil,” said Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. But shifting debris and steep terrain hindered the search. 

Early Saturday morning, firefighters brought heavy equipment and excavators through the narrow, winding roads of the hillside community and began a more methodical search. "We're trying to be as delicate as possible," Humphrey said. 

The fire at the three-story residence in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue broke out about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Humphrey said. Most of the dozen residents of the home escaped safely, but a 74-year-old woman suffered from smoke inhalation and the landlord, a man said to be in his 80s, ran back inside shortly after the flames broke out. He didn’t come out, witnesses aid. 

The man’s name is not being released until his relatives are notified.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials have not calculated the value of the damage to the burned out home.

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