Two Sun Valley Residents Perish

Faulty Smoke Detectors Suspected

by David DeMullé

A nighttime house fire at 9145 La Tuna Canyon Rd. Sun Valley was initially reported as a brush fire. Neighbors ran to the property and tried to rescue an elderly couple in their 90s that were dazed and confused by the dense smoke that billowed throughout the house.

LAFD companies 89, 98, 75 and 74 arrived on scene to find flames coming out of the attic vents with dense smoke rolling out of the front door and neighbors yelling that the residents were trapped inside. A woman relative living on the property tried to find the victims but the smoke was too thick and the heat drove her out. She suffered burns to her arm and smoke inhalation. Donning their breathing apparatus, firefighters made a sweep of the interior finding owners Aspasia and Theodore Kiapos lying unconscious on the floor.

They were quickly extricated and found to have no pulse. Two teams of firefighters performed CPR on the victims and brought back their pulse. They were transported to local hospitals in grave condition where they were pronounced dead.

It took the 70 firefighters about 45 minutes to quell the flames that burnt through the attic and down into the main living area. One firefighter was injured while making access through the tile roof. Arson investigators on-scene reported that the smoke detectors were not working. This is the third residential fire in our community where smoke detectors were not working or not installed. Save a life, check your smoke detectors.

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