Mother dies from injuries, child in critical condition after apartment fire in Long Beach

At 12:05 a.m. on the morning of March 26, Long Beach Fire Department units responded to reports of a structure fire at 1086 Stanley Avenue. At 12:07 a.m., while on patrol in the vicinity of the reported location, the Long Beach Police Department’s helicopter “FOX” arrived overhead and via radio, gave a verbal confirmation to incoming fire department units that there was in fact, heavy smoke coming out of the building. The first fire engine arrived at 12:09 a.m. Engine 10 reported finding a 3 story, residential over garage, multi-family garden-style apartment unit with heavy black smoke observed on the third floor. Based on the size of the building and the number of occupants, a 2nd Alarm was requested at 12:11 a.m. to provide additional resources and to prevent the spread of fire to surrounding apartment units.

As firefighters made their way to the third floor, they witnessed bystanders trying to access the involved apartment unit to initiate a rescue. Unfortunately, the intense heat and smoke drove the bystanders back and prevented access. Firefighters forced entry and initiated an aggressive interior attack and began vertical ventilation operations to support fire suppression activities. As a primary search was conducted, firefighters found 2 patients in a bedroom laying on a bed. The patients, a 47 year old mother, and her 4 year old daughter were both unconscious and unresponsive. Lifesaving efforts were immediately initiated as the patients were removed from the burning apartment and taken downstairs to awaiting paramedics. Both patients were in critical condition and had suffered from smoke inhalation and thermal burns. Both patients were transported via Long Beach Fire paramedics to St. Mary Medical Center for further care and treatment. Subsequently, the 4 year old child was transported to the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Burn Center for additional specialized treatment.

The family had two pets that were also home at the time of the fire. Two dogs were found dead at the scene. Long Beach Animal Control was requested to provide additional support. Two other residents, the 4 year old’s father and another adult family member, were also displaced by the fire. Both of those individuals were not home at the time of the incident.

At the height of the fire, there were over 50 firefighters assigned to the incident. Knockdown occurred at approximately 12:20 a.m. Fire Department units remained onscene throughout the early morning hours to conduct salvage and overhaul operations and to assist other residents back into their homes after the fire was extinguished. The apartment complex has 9 units. All the residents had been evacuated to provide for public safety during fire operations. There were no other residents that were displaced from the fire. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation. However, fire investigators have ruled the fire started in the living room of the involved apartment unit.

Unfortunately, at approximately 3:00 p.m. yesterday, March 26th, 2015, the 47 year old mother died from the injuries she sustained in the fire. Her 4 year old daughter remains in critical condition at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in the Burn Unit.